DARLINGTON—The need was there and Hadon Kilcoyne, 14, took the opportunity to make things a little better for his family.
Hadon read in the Republican Journal that Lennox, a heating and cooling dealer, was providing a free furnace to a needy family in Lafayette County and he didn’t hesitate to fill out the application.
Hadon said he filled out the form, including telling why he thought the person he nominated should get the furnace.
“I just wrote about how things go for us, how much dad works and basically how we live,” Hadon said.
In February his dad, Ted Kilcoyne, thought the family ran out of LP gas and the family resorted to burning wood in a fireplace in the living room for the remainder of the winter. Then when Ted had the LP tank filled this summer, he discovered the tank wasn’t empty and that his 36-year-old furnace had died.
“I hoped to have enough saved by October to get it going again,” Ted said. “We have a very tight budget. We budget everything right to the penny every month.”
Ted said he got a call from Reilly Plumbing and Heating in Darlington on Sept. 28 asking to stop out and talk to Ted on Sept. 29.
“When they came out I asked them if we were in the running for the free furnace and they said we won the furnace,” Ted said.
Lennox provides this free furnace program in 70 counties in Wisconsin through the program Heat Up Wisconsin. Lennox chooses the winner in each county and gives the information to a participating heating company for installation. There were four applications received from Lafayette County. This is the second year Reilly Plumbing and Heating has participated in the program.
The furnace was installed on Oct. 1 by Tom and Matt Reilly and Adam Reichling, staff of Reilly Plumbing and Heating who volunteered their time for the installation.
The new furnace will save the Kilcoyne family money because it will be more energy efficient.
“We ended up closing up our garage and making it into a bedroom and I haven’t had heat in there since then,” Ted said. “Some mornings in the winter it would be in the upper 30s in my bedroom. Reilly’s knew that, so when they ordered the furnace they also ordered a bigger blower and now there is actually heat coming through the duct work in that bedroom for the first time ever.”
Ted has two children, Hadon, a student at Darlington Community School District, and Alyssa, 18, a freshman at University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Ted said it’s been just the three of them for about 3 years.
Ted worked at ITW Shakeproof for 19 years, then went to Edgerton for schooling and started his taxidermy business approximately four years ago. He opened his shop in the garage and works approximately 11 hours a day to keep up with the demand. Ted also stays busy helping his children with their animal projects. Alyssa raises beagles for field trials and Hadon raises sheep to show at the fair.
“Like I said, we’re on a very, very tight budget,” Ted said. “Thank God to a bunch of close friends who have helped us out different times… There is a lot of strength from the community that has helped us out when we needed it. It really has made a big difference. Hopefully this [new furnace] will be the thing that changes things for us to get us back on the right track, because I would really like to be able to donate back into the community.”
Ted said the family’s next project will be replacing some of the old windows of the house.