During his career as a sportswriter for the Journal and Advance News in Ogdensburg, Steve “Heater” Heaton was well-known and appreciated for his huge heart and his support for the student-athletes, coaches and the communities he covered.
During his career Heaton wrote several stories about athletes who had overcome injuries and adversity. Now he is determined to forge his own comeback from Wednesday’s fire and the health issues which he has dealt with in recent years.
The support that Heaton has showed throughout his life is being returned in the wake a fire which consumed Heaton’s home on Franklin Street in Ogdensburg on Wednesday. Heaton lived in the home with his brother, Bruce Heaton, and his great nephew, Trevor Heaton.
Longtime friend Dave House has started a GoFundMe account online and the North Country Savings Bank, 401 Caroline St., Ogdensburg, NY 13669 will accept donations to Steve’s account.
“If anyone has ever read the sports section of the Ogdensburg Journal in the late 90s-the mid 2010s, the name Steve Heaton was synonymous to diligence, when it came to keeping track of our area’s local sports,” said House on the GoFundMe post. “He went above and beyond his duties as a sports reporter to show his support to any and all sporting events. He has always cared about our community, and it’s time for our community to show it’s support to Steve “Heater” Heaton.”
“Steve recently had a house fire and lost everything. He had no homeowners insurance, and it is our duty as a community to ban together to help a man that I am privileged to call my friend. I pray that you all feel the same way I do about Steve. I’d like to see if we can all come together to raise as much as we can. I am setting the goal to $10,000 and I ask the community to join in with me, even if it’s only a $10 donation.”
Steve Heaton was in Burlington, Vt., at a doctor’s appointment at the time of the fire and has expressed his determination to make a comeback from this tragic loss and overbearing adversity.
He lost everything but the clothes he was wearing. Anyone who would like to donate clothes, his size is 5 or 6 extra large. For anyone who would like to call Steve, he can be reached on his cell, 315-528-2383.
“Thanks for the support. The fire was fueled by a gas grill explosion and a new lawnmower with gas in it. Possibly more gas in a tank. Four tires and some trash bins all on my front porch also burned. A discarded cigarette mostly like started it by teenagers. An accident that will sit with me the rest of my life. I lost a dog that I will miss for waking me up and telling me who is the boss,” Steve Heaton said.
“My brother Bruce was inside and made it out but we lost so many valuables,” Steve said. “My sister-in-law’s ashes. My SUV has some major damage, photos and memorabilia of my shows at OFA and the Ogdensburg Boys and Girls. But I still have my heart.”
Make that a very big heart.