“The first year, we had 90 people and raised just over $9,000. Since then it’s grown into a fully legitimate fundraising event,” Hoblock said. “Last year we raised $60,000 with 350 people. This event has really gained some legs, to grow so much in nine years.”
He said that over the years, the event has raised $250,000, and organizers expect to raise $75,000 this year.
“This year will be even bigger, and our initial numbers already exceed last year,” Hoblock said.
The money raised is used for more than just paying heating bills. Funds are also used to make repairs or replacements to heating systems as needed.
“When we started this event, it was originally every dollar goes back to help seniors heat their homes. Every single dollar goes back. For the first seven years we would pay their bills. What we’ve done over the last two years is we’ve enlarged our program to help make repairs to people’s home heating equipment,” said Hoblock. “Now we have seniors that don’t want to leave their homes and they have a 40-year-old furnace that is on its last legs.”
Colonie Senior Service Center began 30 years ago to help elderly people stay in their homes and remain independent.
“The whole goal is to keep seniors home so they can age in place. The big thing is these are seniors on very limited funds,” said Hoblock. “The average income of a person we help is $1,200 a month; average heating bill this winter can be as high as $800. This helps to get them through and this is what the event is all about.”
The Warmth of Wine also benefits the Regional Food Bank through the Century House’s “Enjoy One, Share One” program. For every meal purchased at the Century House, a meal is donated to the food bank.
The event cost $50 per ticket for guest and will be held Thursday, Feb. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. More information can be found at colonieseniors.org