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San Mar residents are warm again

December 12, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

BOONSBORO - A month after the furnace broke at San Mar Children's Home, residents and staff are finally warm again.

The group home's new furnace was turned on Sunday, Director Bruce Anderson said.

After the boiler cracked Nov. 12, the 18 teenage girls who live there and the staff had been using electric space heaters to keep warm.

After a story about their situation ran in The Herald-Mail last week, San Mar received donations totaling nearly half the cost of the $12,630 furnace, Anderson said.

"It's just amazing," he said. "When people see genuine needs they respond."

Blue Ridge Hardscapes of Maugansville donated $250 and one of its workers handed them his check for 15 hours of overtime he had worked, Anderson said.

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San Mar's 20-year-old furnace had been inspected in October 2001 and certified for two years, he said.

But it unexpectedly cracked and repair or replacement was not covered by insurance because the breakdown was due to age, Anderson said.

Anderson decided to buy a new furnace when he learned it would take five weeks to get parts to fix the old one, which was installed in the early 1980s.

There was an unexpected delay when the new furnace didn't arrive until two weeks ago. Crews from Fridinger Ritchie Co. of Hagerstown installed the furnace, working over the weekend to get it turned on Sunday, he said.

There could be additional costs as well for running the 20 space heaters nonstop for about a month, he said.

A complete list of donors is posted on the agency's Web site, www.sanmarhome.org.

There also is a wish list of other items the nonprofit agency needs.

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