Local volunteer honored for service
A crew member from AGE Heating and Cooling helps install a new HVAC system in the home of Sam Cornett, an avid local volunteer, as part of the "Feel the Love" program.
Sam Cornett, left center, is pictured with AGE Heating and Cooling employees after the Sandpoint company partnered with Lennox International’s "Feel the Love" program to offer a deserving citizen a new HVAC system, which they installed on Oct. 11. Lennox provides the equipment, and AGE provides labor, installation, and extra materials.
Staff Writer | October 19, 2023 1:00 AM
SANDPOINT — Sam Cornett, an avid local volunteer, can now envision warmer winters and cooler summers for him and his family thanks to a program called “Feel the Love.”
For the second year in a row, AGE Heating and Cooling in Sandpoint has partnered with Lennox International’s program to offer a deserving citizen a new HVAC system, which they installed Oct. 11. Lennox provides the equipment, and AGE provides labor, installation, and extra materials. During installation, AGE also helps with yard work, house chores, or other acts of service.
After the community nominates prospective recipients, AGE works with Lennox to determine a winner. Before it selects a recipient, the company makes sure they meet certain qualifications, Christina Bruse, director of AGE Heating and Cooling, said.
To qualify, nominees must be the homeowner of a traditionally built house that needs equipment replaced, Bruse said. These qualifications exist because of the product and labor the company is able to provide.
Once they vet those people through, they ask nominees to share their stories.
“It could be financial; they could be veterans; it could be someone that does a lot for the community that just doesn’t really have a lot of resources," Bruse said. “Maybe they don’t have heat. This year, most of our nominations were people that didn’t qualify that had a manufactured home, so we really only had two actual ones to pick from.”
This year’s recipient is very active in the community, she said.
“Whether it’s philanthropic organizations, the Shriners, Sandpoint men’s group, doing food drives with the food bank — I volunteer constantly here and there," Cornett, recipient of the system, said. “I love people, and I love to give back to the community and be a part of the community, so it’s a big thing for me to just feel like I belong in the community and return back in these certain ways.”
He has also taken his daughters to the memory ward at the senior center to play music for the residents there. Despite his dedication, Cornett knew a new heating and cooling system wasn’t in his future without help.
“Knowing that the cost of a new system was starting around $14,000, that was something that was completely out of my means,” he said. “So when I was nominated for this program, I found myself on the receiving end of professional people who truly love what they do and [were] willing to bless us in so many ways. They brought us produce from their garden; they brought us shirts, gift cards; and they even brought us lunch.”
Since the program began in 2009, more than 2,000 installations have been performed throughout the U.S. and Canada through Lennox’s program, their website said.
“This whole logo that they had is “feel the love” — that’s exactly how I felt,” Cornett said.