NewsLocal News


Lehigh Acres seniors get help with Utility bills through art project

Rain barrels painted by locals will be auctioned online in June to raise money for Lehigh Community Services and to help pay utility bills for senior citizens
Posted at 12:02 PM, May 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-16 12:15:10-04

The smell of acrylic paint and the tap of brushes at Lehigh Acres Senior Center fill the room on Tuesday morning. Senior citizens from the area are not using the typical canvas for their artwork today, instead, they’re painting plastic rain barrels.

This is all part of a contest put on by the Florida Governmental Utility Authority and Lehigh Community Services. It’s called, “Water, Make Every Drop Count”. Seniors signed up to paint one of 20 rain barrels available and on June 5th three winners will be chosen and win a Visa gift card at a special luncheon at Majestic Golf Club where the barrels will be on display.

The artists aren’t the only winners though! The barrels will be auctioned off online and the money raised will be used to help pay water bills for seniors struggling to make ends meet. The online link isn’t available just yet, but Fox 4 will make sure to share it with you once it is.

Donna Lizotte, with FGUA, says it’s not too late to take part in the barrel painting! There are still 10 rain barrels that can be painted that can be picked up at painted at your convenience! The barrels are already sanded and primed thanks to the East Lee Leadership Academy Junior ROTC who got them ready for the contest.

Rae Nealy, Interim Director at Lehigh Community Services, explains that anyone that needs help paying their bills can apply for assistance. Eligible individuals can get assistance one time per year and while this contest is focused on helping with utility bills, they help to pay all kind of bills for seniors in need including rent, electric and more.

To apply you can email

If you would like to pick up a rain barrel to paint, you can contact Donna Lizotte at 239-303-0459 or email