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Cape AC company gives free unit to veteran

By Staff | Apr 8, 2016

For many years, Adrian Costa, owner of Cape Coral-based Costa Mechanical & Refrigeration, has performed free services and given air conditioning units to area veterans without seeking any media attention.

This year, the word finally got out. Costa recently awarded an air conditioner to a veteran in Lehigh Acres through its Blessed Veteran giveaway event.

Arnold Taylor, who works in the Department of Corrections for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, was the recipient of this year’s award, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for him, having lived without an air conditioner for five months.

Lisa Kennedy, a co-worker, nominated him for the award through a letter of application sent to Facebook, explaining Taylor’s situation.

“We read through the applications and nobody deserved it like this guy,” Costa said. “He was a member of the Army and still serves the Sheriff’s Office.”

Costa had the event recorded on video and is available for viewing on the company’s Facebook page. Costa said he was stunned that the winner had gone so long without it.

Taylor was amazed when he saw Costa come to the door to tell him he won.

“It was right on time and a genuine blessing. The honor for me was just to appreciate everyone who did what they could to help me win the contest,” Taylor said.

Costa said recipients are nominated by friends and loved ones and, once he read the story told by one of his fellow workers, he was sold.

“We did this on Facebook in December, where people put in their submissions of someone they know, not themselves,” Costa said. The girl who did this, Lisa Kennedy, actually did what we said. She just didn’t put in a name. She put down everything he did and she won it fair and square.”

Taylor was a member of the Army from 1989-92, serving three tours of duty overseas. After his military service, he got into law enforcement and started working for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in 2007.

Taylor said his old unit had broken down before and he had it fixed. When it broke down again, he decided to do without for the winter and save for a new one, which would have cost thousands.

“When the contest came around, everything fell into place. Lisa told me about the contest and that she nominated me,” Taylor said. “A lot of people liked it and shared it, and they liked mine more than anyone else’s.”

Costa has been doing free service calls and giveaways to veterans for years. It’s just the first time it’s gone public.