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THAW receives $1 million donation

Money will support water assistance program

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DETROIT – The Heat and Warmth Fund, or THAW, announced Sunday that it has received the single largest non-utility, private gift in the organization's history.

A $1 million donation was made by Miller Buckfire & Co., a New York-based investment banking firm.

The money will go to providing water assistance to Detroit residents in need.

The donation will enable THAW to create a new water assistance program and help thousands of Detroiters.  The program is expected to launch on June 1.

"This donation from Miller Buckfire & Co. will allow THAW to expand its utility assistance for Detroit residents," said Saunteel Jenkins, CEO of THAW. "THAW recognizes that countless families struggle to pay multiple utility bills. Miller Buckfire & Co.'s donation will allow THAW to provide additional utility assistance that will help stabilize many households."

The donation is an element of a December 2014 mediated settlement between the city and Miller Buckfire over the bank's final compensation for its work on the bankruptcy and restructuring.

"THAW is addressing a critical need for the city and its residents and we view our donation as an investment in the future of Detroit," said James Doak, managing director at Miller Buckfire.  "THAW has a proven track record of delivering utility assistance with compassion and efficiency and we are excited to see what can be achieved with these funds."

Detroit residents can apply for the THAW water assistance program online at www.thawfund.org or by calling 1-800-866-8429 (THAW).