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SALVATION ARMY, EAST OHIO GAS CONTINUE FUEL FUND PROGRAM

 CLEVELAND, Dec. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The Salvation Army and East Ohio Gas will continue their joint People-Helping-People Fuel Fund program for the ninth straight year in 1993, providing needy customers last- resort help to avoid utility service disconnection.
 The Salvation Army administers the program, which is funded by a $50,000 grant through the East Ohio Gas Company fund. This money is provided by stockholders of Consolidated Natural Gas Company, parent company of East Ohio Gas. After the initial grant money is exhausted, East Ohio Gas will match public contributions dollar for dollar.
 East Ohio Gas presented a $50,000 check today to the Salvation Army at the organization's Northeastern Ohio Division headquarters in Cleveland. East Ohio Gas matched $3,419 in private contributions for the 1992 program, which aided 2,169 individuals in 668 families.
 The program once again will accept private contributions in 1993. Russell R. Gifford, East Ohio Gas president, noted that the need for private contributions will continue into the new year.
 "The Fuel Fund will provide an extra margin of safety and comfort this winter heating season to customers who are truly needy," Gifford said. Through the Fuel Fund, customers who face a utility shut-off can receive a one-time grant of up to $150 to retain or resume service, he said.
 The program is available to needy customers of East Ohio Gas in northeast Ohio, and of its sister companies, The River Gas Company in Marietta and The West Ohio Gas Company in Lima.
 The program serves customers who have exhausted financial help from the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), the Ohio Energy Credits Program and public assistance, Gifford said.
 The 1993 program marks the ninth year of teamwork between The Salvation Army and East Ohio Gas. "It's been a successful partnership," Gifford said. "The Salvation Army has an outstanding track record and maintains a network of community centers and trained people in every area served by East Ohio Gas and its sister companies. They have done a wonderful job of administering the program."
 Since its inception in 1985, the program has provided more than $725,000 to 33,128 individuals in 9,414 families, said Maj. R. Eugene Pigford, Salvation Army Northeastern Ohio Divisional Commander.
 Program income eligibility criteria are based on the HEAP standards of household income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. For example, a family of four with an income of $20,925 or less would be eligible for Fuel Fund assistance, provided it has exhausted all other forms of aid and could show proof of an imminent utility service shut-off.
 Pigford emphasized that Fuel Fund contributions from the community will be used in the area from which they are received. Tax-deductible Fuel Fund contributions can be sent to The Salvation Army, People- Helping-People Fuel Fund, PO Box 5847, Cleveland, OH, 44101.
 -0- 12/31/92
 /CONTACT: Mary Ann Sullivan of The Salvation Army, 216-861-8185; or Neil Durbin of The East Ohio Gas Company, 216-736-6239 or toll-free in Ohio, 800-556-4400/


CO: The East Ohio Gas Company; The Salvation Army ST: Ohio IN: UTI SU: JVN

KK -- CL005 -- 0887 12/31/92 11:49 EST
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Date:Dec 31, 1992
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