A local businesswoman donated 162 box fans to Area Agency on Aging of Southeast Arkansas Monday as the agency prepares for the annual Beat the Heat fan drive.

A local businesswoman donated 162 box fans to Area Agency on Aging of Southeast Arkansas Monday as the agency prepares for the annual Beat the Heat fan drive.

Cathy Richardson, owner of Cats Kings and Queens night club, was the first to make a donation this year, their eighth year to participate, Richardson said.

Area Agency collects fans to distribute to elderly or disabled persons during the summer months. The agency will officially hold its fan drive June 1 through Aug. 1, said Carolyn Ferguson, officer of community services at Area Agency.

The night club receives donations from its members each year, Richardson said, adding that this year they donated about 82 more fans than last year.

“I guess the economy is getting better,” Richardson said when asked why more more donations were made.

During the fan drive, Area Agency will be accepting donations of fans and window air conditioners. Last year the agency received about 500 donations, Ferguson said.

The drive began 20 years ago with the agency hosting a car wash in Carmart’s parking lot to raise money, according to Ferguson.

For residents who need fans, they must call Area Agency at 543-6300 in advance to get their names on a waiting list. Anyone picking up a fan must have their I.D. and their names must be on the waiting list.

Area Agency will be giving out fans Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the fan drive at the agency office, 709 E. Eighth Ave.

For people wanting air conditionng units they must have a doctor’s note stating that they have a respiratory problem or other issues to explain the need for a unit.

Donations collected within Jefferson County stay in the county, she said. Area Agency is a non profit organization that assists the elderly and disabled in Jefferson, Arkansas, Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Cleveland, Desha, Drew, Grant, and Lincoln counties.

Area Agency provides homecare, care management services, senior citizen services, transportation services and other programs. Details: Call 543-6300. Fans maybe delivered to the Area Agency office.