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DES MOINES, Iowa — Election day is only 31 days away. Democrats from all across the state gathered in one room at Hy-Vee Hall on Saturday to get fired up and talk about the issues they stand for.

The Iowa Democratic Party Fall Gala is one of the biggest fundraisers for democrats in the state and on Saturday they beat their fundraising goal of $20,000.

Organizers kicked off the event with speeches from State Senator Rita Hart, nominee for lieutenant governor and Gubernatorial Candidate Fred Hubbell.

Hubbell said among his goals if elected, he wants to raise the minimum wage, restore funding to planned parenthood and provide access to healthcare to all Iowans.

Hubbell said this is the most important election in Iowa in the last 50 years.

“We need you on the front lines. We need you knocking doors. We need you to spread the word and we need your vote. Because it’s time to restore opportunities across our state. It’s time to invest in people again. It’s time to work across the aisle for the benefit for all Iowans,” Hubbell said.

After dinner, U.S. Senator Cory Booker, (D) New Jersey, took the stage as keynote speaker to fire up democrats to get to the polls and vote.

He had two important words for Democrats, “Stay faithful.”

“I want you to know, not long, because it’s not long until November. How long? Not long until we elect a Governor in this state who will stand up for women, who will stand up for Planned Parenthood, who will stand up for public education. How long? Not long, until we elect the people who represent all the people, not just the fortunate few. Not long,” Sen. Booker said.

Early voting starts on Monday in Iowa.

URBANDALE Iowa — The energy costs were getting out of control.

“Usually we’d have a couple of months in the summer and in the winter with $350, sometimes $380 a month” said Melissa Evans.

But for Melissa and Marcus Evans the cost to maintain, let alone replace, their aging heating and cooling system was just something they couldn’t afford.

“You never knew if it was going to last week to week, we called to have people come out and service it but it kept getting more expensive and more expensive” said Marcus.

Melissa is a nurse but hasn’t been able to work since breaking her arm in 2009. A series of undiagnosed infections led to several more breaks and about a dozen surgeries. Marcus is a veteran of the Coast Guard. Both felt a wave of relief when they found out they had been nominated, and selected, to receive a completely free HVAC system.

“When Corissa called I thought ‘what the heck is this, is this some kind of marketing thing?’ and when she told us what it was I couldn’t believe we were nominated and selected” said Melissa.

The Evans family was nominated by a friend of a friend for the Lennox “Feel the Love” program. Launched in Wisconsin in 2009, it helps families in need by donating a state-of-the-art HVAC system, and has a local Lennox dealer install the system free of charge. Today employees of Heartland Heating and Cooling donated their time to the Evans family.

“It’s the first time it’s come to Iowa this year, we’re the first dealer, and we’re happy to do it. we love doing stuff like this, being part of the community” said Heartland COO Corissa Franken.

The equipment and the installation would have normally costed Mark and Melissa around $10,000, and now as the family heads into the expensive holiday season they say it takes a massive weight off their shoulders.

“It’s a huge stress reliever going into the winter and the holidays because it makes a huge difference” said Marcus.

This is the first time the program has been done in Iowa. Heartland Heating and Cooling hopes that in the future other Lennox dealers will become part of the program and they can provide a free system for several Iowa families in need.