Eleven customers of Colby & Gale Inc. received a Valentine’s Day gift when the company’s drivers showed up Thursday, Feb. 14 with flowers and chocolate in hand, and filled their oil tanks free of charge.
This is the third year in a row that the Damariscotta-based company has participated in Fuel Your Love, a statewide event put on by the Maine Energy Marketers Association.
“It’s a great way to give back to the community,” Colby & Gale Inc. CEO Matt Poole said.
On Thursday afternoon, a truck decorated for the occasion set out for homes in Damariscotta, Waldoboro, and Bristol, as well as the Damariscotta Fire Department and the Central Lincoln County Ambulance Service.
“It’s just a way to say thank you to those that don’t get thanked enough,” Poole said.
“It’s just a wonderful feeling that you get,” Rhonda Mott, the company’s dispatcher, said. “It’s a way to pay back.”
Mott traveled to the homes and emergency departments along with Kerri Lincoln, who works in customer service; Nick Tilas, who works in the service department; and deliveryman Ralph Eugley.
Eugley has delivered all three years the company has participated in the event.
“I just enjoy seeing the smiles on the faces,” he said.
The truck’s first stop was the home of Damariscotta resident Rosalie Campbell.
“This doesn’t happen to too many people,” Campbell said. “It’s a godsend.”
Damariscotta Fire Chief John Roberts said the department greatly appreciates Colby & Gale’s generosity.
“This is a pleasant surprise,” Damariscotta resident Joe Clark said of the event. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Clark said that when Colby & Gale called him to tell him he had been chosen for the event, he asked if anyone in the community could use the fill-up more than he could.
“We really appreciate you guys,” Mott said of Clark and his family, which includes five children.
Clark said he “couldn’t ask for a better company in the community.”
Unlike past years, where every stop was a surprise to the homeowner, many on the list this year were surprised with a phone call in the days leading up to the event, to ensure they would be home for the delivery.
One customer who was not aware of the surprise, and thought she was going to need to pay for the fuel, was Damariscotta resident Dorothea Vogel.
“This just throws me,” she said after giving everyone hugs. “I’ve had angels all around me. People have just been so, so gracious. I was certainly not expecting this.”