Free fans replenished for the elderly

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - This week's brutal heat is truly bad news for senior citizens.

"It bothers my wife, that's why I want another fan for her," says Gus Stamas.

Sure, the rest of us are sweating it out, too, but the elderly have so much to deal with. Take Stamas's wife.

"She had pneumonia for the whole month of June," he says.

"As we age, our bodies don't react to heat as well," says Tyvola Senior Center Director Marty Garges.

And that's why Garges and her team at the Tyvola Senior Center get companies to donate free fans for the elderly. They give them out there and at the other senior centers in our area, and when the temperature soars, the program is incredibly popular.

So popular that they ran out of fans yesterday.

"I heard that they ran out," says nine-year-old Michael Elrod. And that worried him. "Because today's going to be a really hot day and if they don't have fans..." his voice trails off.

Michael decided to spend all of his piggy bank savings on fans, and with the help of his Dad, Terry, they delivered a cart load today to Tyvola's center.

"This is just a way for us to give back," Terry says.

Michael hopes they'll help "cool the people down and let the relax and get some fresh air," he says.

"God bless him," says Stamas. "That's wonderful."

And good news from Garges - with the Elrod's help, her supplies have been replenished.

"We should have fans when people call," she says.

Other centers, though, still need help. Especially the Anson County Council on Aging. If you can help there, please contact Bernice Bennett at (704) 694-6217. Or email her at