PLYMOUTH — Keep the Heat On Committee Chair Martha Richards explains her involvement with the annual event, which will be held this year starting at 5 p.m. on January 15, at Plymouth State University's Prospect Hall, as follows;
"For 9 years I've had the privilege of guiding this fabulous committee as we work as a team to make this event the major success that it has been in raising over $200,000. I continue to be amazed and so gratified by the total community effort from all areas to be sure we raise a lot of money in a fun way to go to PACC and their fuel fund. The generosity of many; from the sponsors, to the restaurants, to the auction donors; is overwhelming. It is my favorite group with whom I have worked in my many years of volunteering--one can see the local needs being met right away."
Plymouth Area Community Closet (PACC) has helped over 500 families to heat their homes over the past eight years, with the number growing each year. The average amount of assistance has increased from $300 to $500. In New Hampshire this year, the average price of a gallon of fuel oil is $3.80, and propane costs $3.33. That means that it costs nearly $2,000 to fill a 500-gallon tank, a sum that is out of the reach of many families who already struggle to make ends meet.
Another committee member offered her motives for volunteering:
"Last winter, a friend of mine called, knowing I worked for the KTHO committee. She works at Plymouth Elementary School, and explained to me that she was very concerned about two children who were hesitant to return home that night. The temperature had dropped that week--to the kind of cold that can create fatigue of the soul--and the family had no fuel to heat their home. The girls knew they would be in a cold and drafty trailer all weekend. I was so happy to be able to put my friend in touch with Plymouth Area Community Closet, who paid for the family's oil tank to be filled that evening. The girls were warm. Experiences like this bring home the reality of real poverty, and the need for us to help where we can."
Similar motives are behind the restaurants' donations to the KTHO buffet dinner, they all have a sincere desire to give back to the communities that have supported them over the years.
From the start in 2006, KTHO's loyal supporters have been Annie's Overflow, Biederman's, Cafe Monte Alto, Chase Street Market, the Common Man Family, the Country Cow, George's Seafood & BBQ Center, the Lucky Dog, the Mad River Tavern, Main Street Station, Mandarin Taste & Fugaky, Plymouth Regional High School Culinary students, Six Burner Bistro, the Sunset Grill, Tony's Italian Grill, Thai Smile, and Walter's Basin. And on hand from day one to help with everything from serving to supplies have been Plymouth State University's Sodexo and the PRHS National Honor Society.
Newer to Plymouth, and giving to KTHO since they've opened are Burrito Me and Manny's Downtown Pizza. All new for 2014 are Dot's Bread and Butter, the Coyote Grill, Remington's, and the Green House.
Tickets are on sale now at Chase Street Market for $35 each, and are limited again this year. Call Veronica Barbadoro at 536-7207 or Doug Grant at 536-5823 to reserve tables. Keep the Heat On is organized and sponsored by the Plymouth Area Democrats partnered with PACC.