New funding for home heating help was found Saturday as used tires were turned into cash at the second inaugural "Wheels for Warmth" tire drop and swap. The program, conceptualized last year by Washington Country State Senator, Phil Scott raised more than $12,000 from the event at Dubois Construction in Middlesex, VT.

According to Scott, this year's event exceeded his wildest expectations, "After two terrific days of drop offs (Thursday and Friday), we were a little apprehensive on what we might expect Saturday due to the horrific weather forecast of rain and high wind warnings. But we need not have been concerned - in true Vermont fashion of neighbor helping neighbor, lots of folks turned out in spite of the inclement weather - to buy tires as well as drop them off," he reflected after the event.

"The "Wheels Warmth" project took tires that were reusable and made them affordable for people to buy. The ones that were no longer safe were kept out of our roadsides and waterways. And the ones that didn't sell will be put to further use by the Community Action people.

Scott offered up some preliminary numbers from this year's project, "Over 1000 tires were sold and redistributed while an additional 1000 were disposed of through Casella Waste Management who donated $2.50 of each $4.00 disposal fee to Wheels for Warmth." He continued, "Almost $500 in donations was collected. Many local businesses offered in-kind services including McGillicuddys, who donated food, L&D safety markings who donated the electronic message boards and Capitol Grounds who delivered coffee all day long. Also, Green Mountain Concert Services supplied traffic control and the Department of Motor Vehicles provided three officers for all three days. Plus, Vermont Tire donated 80 new tires from their inventory.

"I feel like a race car driver in Victory Lane," the well known American-Canadian Tour and Thunder Road stock car racer explained, "I'm getting the credit and accolades but it is really the crew and team that put it together and made it successful. Without the help from the countless friends and volunteers, we wouldn't have been able to have such a successful event. My heartfelt thanks go out to everyone. "

For additional information on the "Wheels for Warmth" program contact Dubois Construction in Montpelier at 802-223-5288.