Award recognizes the ACCA's effort to help replace heating systems for low-income homeowners.

ARLINGTON, Va. - The Air Conditioning Contractors of America's "Heat the Country" program is the recipient of the Associations Advance America Award of Excellence.

The award, from the American Society of Association Executives, recognizes associations that benefit the country through projects in education, skills training, standards and community service.

"Heat the Country" started as a community service project, "Heat the Town," which was initiated by the North Texas ACCA chapter. Last fall, ACCA members in some 14 chapters around the country volunteered their time and services to replace heating systems for low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners in their local communities. The chapters worked with public and private social service organizations to identify families who needed help.

"Our member companies are community-based in the best sense of the word, as ‘Heat the Country' shows," said Paul T. Stalknecht, the ACCA president and CEO. "The 2004 effort was just our first on a national scale; we expect that the program will grow to serve more families in the years to come. We are very proud of our participating members and grateful to ASAE for recognizing their commitment."