LAKE COUNTY — The winter has been mild so far, but FiveCAP, Inc. reports the number of requests for heating assistance remains steady as low-income families and seniors continue to struggle with the cost of utilities.

To help ensure funding is always available to keep the heat on for local residents, FiveCAP will once again host the annual Walk for Warmth fundraiser. The agency is now seeking people willing to walk or donate to the cause.

"There’s no set dollar amount — it’s whatever you want to donate," said FiveCAP Community Support Director Amanda Nasor. "One dollar or $500 is appreciated, and will be used for a good purpose. We also need volunteers to collect pledges and participate in the walk."

Community groups and individuals are encouraged to participate in the two-mile walk, which takes place from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Feb. 27, starting and ending at St. Ann Catholic Church located at 690 East Ninth St. in Baldwin.

Organizers are asking participants to get their friends, families, coworkers, community and church groups to get involved with the event. Teams of walkers are encouraged and planners said invoking a competitive spirit inspires fundraising efforts.

The money raised during Walk for Warmth will stay in the county and provide the opportunity for neighbors help one another stay warm during the cold winter months. These funds allow FiveCAP to help people in need who may not meet the qualifications for state or federal assistance, or to help residents after state and federal funds are exhausted.

"There is no administrative cost for Walk for Warmth," Nasor added. "Everything raised — all 100 percent — goes to help low-income residents pay their heating bills."

Pledge sheets are available at fivecap.org or the Baldwin FiveCAP office located at 2476 West 44th St. in Baldwin. For more information on the event, call (231) 745-4617.