CHICAGO — Nearly $12,000 in entry fees from the 2012 AHR Expo Innovation Awards competition was donated to Metropolitan Family Services, an organization that provides services and counseling for Chicago-area families in need.

Metropolitan Family Services will use the donation to upgrade the HVAC systems at its Midway Head Start Facility, which will result in thousands of dollars in energy savings each year.

For more than 150 years, Metropolitan Family Services has helped thousands of families cope with various challenges through a variety of human services. The organization’s Midway Center and Midway Head Start Center serve communities on Chicago’s Southwest side, providing residents with headstart programming, a child care youth center, domestic violence and parenting programs, and many other programs and services designed to improve quality of life. Metropolitan Family Services spends approximately $50,000 annually on energy costs at the Midway Head Start facility. Nearly half of that money is used to operate both of their rooftop HVAC units and the boiler. Upon the organization’s new HVAC system controls upgrade — which is expected to triple the current coverage area — both systems will be able to work in tandem more efficiently, providing consistently comfortable room temperatures for the facilities year-round.

“We are honored to receive this generous donation from AHR Expo,” said Ricardo Estrada, Metropolitan Family Services president and CEO. “Especially since the money will be used to make families more comfortable in our facilities, as well as dramatically reduce our annual energy costs by thousands of dollars.”

Every year, the AHR Expo donates the entry fees from the AHR Expo Innovation Awards to a local charitable organization. To date, AHR Expo has donated nearly $100,000 to various charities nationwide.

“We are delighted that the entry fees will help such a worthwhile charity dedicated to improving the lives of Chicago-area families,” said Clay Stevens, president of the International Exposition Co., which produces and manages the AHR Expo. “The AHR Expo Innovation Awards promote innovation in the HVACR industry, while at the same time benefiting charitable organizations.”

Publication date: 2/13/2012