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‘Warmth of Wine’ heats homes

Event raises money to help pay heating bills for seniors

The 7th Warmth of Wine is Thursday, March 1, at the Century House in Latham from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $50. All the money raised goes to help eligible low income seniors offset their heating bills.

The 7th Warmth of Wine is Thursday, March 1, at the Century House in Latham from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $50. All the money raised goes to help eligible low income seniors offset their heating bills.

So on Thursday, March 1, the 7th Warmth of Wine event will raise money to help seniors strapped for cash keep their heat on.

“Even though it was a mild winter, heating bills didn’t go down. … Seniors are getting a significant cost from heat so who’s going to fill that gap? We are going to,” said Jim Quinn, director of Umbrella of Colonie, a program offered by Colonie Senior Services that’s hosting the event.

All the money raised at the wine tasting event will help low income seniors pay their heating bills.

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The 7th Warmth of Wine tasting is sponsored by Umbrella of Colonie.

“Anyone is eligible to apply. They send in an application and get a check,” said Quinn. “It helps to offset their heating bills. It’s a wonderful program and a great event.”

According to information from Colonie Senior Services, 33 percent of seniors age 75 and older are “income challenged” and a “disproportionate share” of their income goes toward heat.

Umbrella of Colonie might be sponsoring the evening but the yearly event isn’t the only way the program helps local seniors throughout the year. It matches Colonie seniors 55 and older with affordable and reliable handypersons and contractors to perform home maintenance tasks.

“It gives the seniors just one number to call. They don’t have to go to the phone book and try to find a contractor. A lot of times what comes with that is trust. How do you trust somebody if you just found them in a phonebook?” said Quinn.

Umbrella has about 40 handy men and women and 15 to 20 contractors on hand to help clients. Many of them are retired but still looking for a bit of work to keep busy.

“They still want to work and still want to help people. … They have a lot of skills,” said Quinn.

Umbrella’s contacts can do everything, like plumbing and electrical work, shoveling a driveway, raking the lawn, cutting the grass, painting a room, fixing a door or window and repairing furnaces and hot water heaters.

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