WAUSAU - A Wausau family will feel a little warmer this winter after winning a free furnace through the Heat Up Wisconsin program.
Dan Hackbarth found the contest in a local advertisement, so he thought he would apply and see how he could do.
It's a Lennox program that provides free installations of high-efficiency gas furnaces for people and families in need.
Hackbarth describes his tough times.
"I kind of put down that two years ago I lost my job and then the following year I lost both of my parents," Hackbarth said. "They had been helping me out quite a bit because a loss of job means loss of income too."
The Hackbarths old furnace was more than 50 years old.
Their son Zachary, 1st grade, is excited for the upgrade.
"I think its awesome," Zachary said. "We think its going to be nice and cozy, we think its going to be awesome."
The Heat Up Wisconsin program stretches from Wisconsin to Minnesota, as well as the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Individual Lennox dealers select from applicants in their area. They then decide which person is in the most need from their stories.
More than 300 families have received free furnaces since the program started in 2010.
MERRILL - For 32 years Battalion Chief Mike Drury walked into the Merrill Fire Department ready to save lives. Friday he walked out of the department for the last time to start the new phase of his life. "It goes fast it goes really fast," said Drury. Drury was about 18 -years -old when he walked into the Merrill Fire Department for the first time. "When you're 18, 19,20 years old and you're looking at 50 something years old you think you're never going to get there," said Drury.
Drury is one of 184 firefighters to ever work full time with the city of Merrill. "As a firefighter they spend a lot of time at the fire house so they miss a lot of things," said Drury's daughter Cassi. After 32 years of missing birthdays, holidays and family time Drury was ready for a change.
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