The Town of Scarborough, Public Safety & Fire Departments, Scarborough Library, and Project GRACE and friends will host their 11th annual fuel assistance fundraiser. The “Rally to Keep Our Neighbors Warm” will be held at Public Safety and Town Hall on Saturday, Feb. 11 from 10 a.m. to noon to raise critical funds to help our neighbors heat their homes.

Free activities inside Town Hall in the Council Chambers include a bake sale with yummy treats perfect for your Super Bowl party or favorite Valentine, a Friends of the Scarborough Library book sale, and Fire and Public Safety education. We’ll have a special appearance by local band Hadacol Bouncers whose hybrid New Orleans and Chicago-style Jazz music is bright and fun, sure to help us beat the winter blues! The Scarborough Historical Society and Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center will be on hand to showcase their programs for all ages, alongside Scarborough Kiwanis, Rotary, and Lions, who do so much good in the community all year long. Donate returnables for the Lions’ bottle drive. Bring a new pair of warm socks for the Kiwanis sock drive for Preble Street. Get tips for snugging up a drafty house, and learn about fuel assistance resources.

We’ll also have chowder available for pre-order and curbside pickup while supplies last. Pick up a quart of Bread & Butter Caterings’ hearty smoked brisket chili or haddock chowder (while supplies last — please pre-order at Or drive thru and give a little or a lot to help your neighbors.

The inspiration behind the Rally is local philanthropist, Eddie Woodin, who has challenged Project GRACE to raise $20,000 from the community to win a matching gift from him. Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial’s Scott and Kelli McDonald and KCV Trailer Rentals’ Art and Belinda Ledue have already pledged leadership gifts to match Eddie’s. Early gifts from West Scarborough United Methodist Church, the Prouts Neck Association, and many others are giving us a good head start to the goal.

Over the last 10 years, the Fuel Rallies have raised more than $152,000 — about 80% of the funds Project GRACE needs to keep our neighbors warm. Last year’s Rally raised over $26,000, but much of it was spent a few short weeks later when the price of oil jumped to over $6.00 a gallon. Prices have come down some, but the need remains. When you are on a tight fixed income from social security or your hours at work have been reduced, many must still make difficult choices: get groceries and fill a prescription, or pay the heating bill. It’s not uncommon for Project GRACE volunteers to hear that working families are trying to make it to the next paycheck, feeding their tanks 5 or 10 gallons at a time until they have the money to get another 50 or 100 gallons. Seniors have lowered their thermostats and done what they can to snug up drafts, but are relieved to hear help is on the way.

Already the days are lengthening, but we still have a long way to go before we can count on warmer temperatures. We hope we’ll see a large turnout on Saturday, Feb. 11, but if you can’t make it, you can give online at or by send a check to Project GRACE, PO Box 6846, Scarborough, ME 04070. For all those who have already made a gift, we extend our warmest thanks. Each helps us keep our promise that we won’t leave anyone in the cold.

Project GRACE is a Scarborough nonprofit with a mission to improve the lives of neighbors by identifying both those in need and those willing to share their gifts, and coordinating the interchange in a compassionate, confidential manner. Learn more at

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