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Stepping up in times of need

Brad Steffen of Chappell Central instals a new furnace Saturday at the home of Dianne Parker in Willmar. The Parker home was one of two in the area Saturday that received new furnaces. Mike Newberg of Chappell Central Inc., left, is pictured making an electrical connection at the Sorgatz home in Sacred Heart. Tribune photos by Ron Adams1 / 3
Dianne Parker and her children Colton, 8, and Cambrie, 10, stand with their newly installed furnace on Saturday at their home in Willmar.2 / 3
Tribune photo by Ron Adams Collin Young, from left back row, Mark Sorgatz, Ethan Young, Eleen Sorgatz along with Arabella Howell, left, and Morgan Sorgatz stand with the newly installed furnace on Saturday at their home in rural Sacred Heart.3 / 3

Installation crews from Chappell Central had new furnaces installed in the homes of two families around midday Saturday.

The two installations were part of a statewide effort by furnace manufacturer Lennox and their dealers to install 100 furnaces in the homes of families in need as part of the Heat Up Minnesota program. Lennox provided the furnaces and the dealers provided the labor and materials needed to complete the installations across the state.

"It's great to be able to help people who have had tough times," said Randy Sather, residential sales representative at Chappell Central in Willmar, noting that both families were appreciative and the installation crews were excited to do the work.

The Chappell installers split into two crews, with one group replacing the furnace of Dianne Parker's 1950s-era home in southwest Willmar and the other group heading over to rural Sacred Heart to replace the old fuel oil burner at the home of Mark and Ellen Sorgatz.

The Heat Up program began in Wisconsin a few years ago and expanded to Minnesota this year. The program is expected to continue next year, with the company taking online nominations during the summer and early fall. For more information, visit

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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