Kyle Anderson of Merrill was the winner of the Coleman 97.5% efficient furnace in the Custom Design Heating & Cooling Survival of the Coolest Contest on Saturday morning. He outlasted his mother, Karla Kloss, with his hand on the unit at Crossroads County Market for 24 hours and 42 minutes.
Kyle wants to have this $4,000 value prize installed in his sister’s Merrill home, where he has been staying while looking for work. Her home currently has an expensive oil heat furnace. As the announcement of Kyle as the winner was made on the air, an offer was made to Kyle by a listener who came to the tent site in the parking lot, urging him to apply for an open position at the company in Weston.
Contestants were under the watchful eye of Judges Jim Beem from WMZK, Z104 and Josh Hipke, owner of Custom Design Heating and Cooling of Merrill. This contest was held in conjunction with Z104’s Annual “Pigathon” Fundraiser. This year the Merrill Fire Dept’s “Tree of Hope” will be the recipient of the 24hour telethon on WMZK. Six brave souls participated in the Winter Edition of the Survival of the Coolest coordinated by Christine Vorpagel, Dynamo Creative Marketing & Media.
The Pigathon raised over $2,000 for the Tree of Hope project. The Tree of Hope, organized by the Merrill Fire Department, provides gifts for local families in need at Christmas time. Merrill Fire Department captain Mike Drury said the generosity of the community in supporting the project has been overwhelming. “This is way beyond our expectations,” he said. “There is an increased need in the community and donations have risen along with it. The generosity of the Merrill community is just unbelievable.” During the Pigathon, $825 was collected in cash donations and another $1,400 was pledged. The money is being used to fulfill the Christmas wishes of about 30 children. The Tree of Hope is serving more than 250 families this year with a total of over 600 children. The distribution of the gifts will be held Friday.