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Annual Event Breaks Two Records, Raises More Than $175,000 for Utility Assistance

A crisp, but sunny Saturday morning helped kick off the spring season in Omaha’s popular Aksarben Village. The streetscape of shops and restaurants filled with energy and purpose. On March 2, 2024, hundreds of runners and walkers of all ages were ready to hit the trails for the 17th Annual Heat the Streets Run & Walk for Warmth.

The event welcomed a record number of participants, with 1,055 people raising important awareness for utility assistance in our community. Hosted by M.U.D. and Omaha Public Power District, the event featured competitive 5K and 10K routes alongside an untimed one-mile walk, all designed to gather the community together for neighbors in need – 100% of funds raised benefit those in need of utility assistance.

The sunny skies mirrored the optimism and resolve of honorary co-chairs Jim Begley, chairperson of M.U.D.’s board of directors, his wife, Rebecca, and the sea of supporters coursing through the heart of Omaha. OPPD board director Matt Core and his wife, Katy, also co-chaired the event.

Employees, retirees, board directors and family members of Metropolitan Utilities District show their support.

Funds were raised through a combination of event registrations, sponsorships and donations. The money will help light and heat homes and warm hearts across a 13-county span where the need for utility assistance looms large. More than $175,000 was raised, setting another record in the event’s 17-year history.

Megan Walter, manager of Customer Engagement, said, “We look forward to this event every year as this is our largest fundraiser for our respective utility assistance programs, and 100% of the money donated goes to these wonderful programs.”

Administered by Dollar Energy Fund, a registered 501(c)(3), the contributions are allocated between M.U.D.’s Home Fund and OPPD’s Energy Assistance Program. This ensures the aid reaches those who face the difficult choices between life’s essentials. “Oftentimes, they just need a little boost due to circumstances out of their control, like a hospital stay, lost job or car repairs,” said Walter.

It’s not just the Heat the Streets Run & Walk for Warmth that provides support throughout the year. Continued generosity fuels OPPD and M.U.D.’s unwavering commitment to serve and uplift the community. If you missed the event but are interested in making a donation, you may do so at Every contribution, big or small, makes a difference in the lives of those struggling with utility hardships.