The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) announced that its Southeast Michigan Chapter has been honored with the association's Spirit of Giving Award.

"ACCA Southeast Michigan has a tradition of serving the community," said Paul T. Stalknecht, ACCA president and CEO. "All of our chapters do, and it's difficult to single one of them out, but this year we felt that this chapter's efforts were outstanding."

The award was presented at the 2006 ACCA Annual Conference and Indoor Air Expo in San Jose, Calif.

The chapter was recognized for two projects in particular: the Al Keats Seniors Day/Project Heat and participation in the 2005 Habitat for Humanity Blitz Build.

The Al Keats Seniors Day/Project Heat program was begun in 1986. Every first Saturday in December, ACCA Southeast Michigan contractor and associate members gather to service, clean, inspect, and repair 50 to 75 heating systems for needy seniors. The group usually finds a few furnaces in need of replacement and follows up the next weekend with donated equipment, supplies, and labor.

This year, the chapter received a desperate call from the Redford Seniors Coordinator on December 16. A family had exhausted all other avenues for help with a broken 50-year-old steam boiler and had been using electric space heaters. The chapter delivered and installed a half-price boiler in time for Christmas.

The chapter also helped Habitat for Humanity during the Blitz Build 2005 in Detroit. The organization built 30 homes in one week; the chapter took on heating systems for nine of them. The most challenging part of the project was that the volunteers had to perform 95 percent of the work on Father's Day. Twenty-four member volunteers put the systems in place. They returned the following Thursday to install thermostats and grilles/diffusers, then started and checked each system.

Publication date: 05/15/2006