In the late 1950’s, Ken Cota was having breakfast at a local diner when he came across a man who was down on his luck. The man couldn’t pay his rent, and was having a hard time taking care of his family. Being a generous and compassionate man, Ken knew what he had to do. When they left the diner, Ken gave the man $100 and asked him to use the money to get back on his feet. Overwhelmed by Ken’s generosity, the man told him he would never be able to repay him. It didn’t matter to Ken. He did what he could to help this family in need.
A year later, the man did get back on his feet and met with Ken to repay what he felt was his debt. Ken kindly refused and asked him to give it to another family in need. His philosophy was that if everyone could “pay it forward” at least once, it would help unite and strengthen our community.
Now in our third generation at Cota & Cota, we have never lost sight of Ken’s vision for the communities we serve. Each year, we honor the legacy of Ken Cota by awarding 100 gallons of heating fuel to a local business member. The winner of the drawing is asked to “pay it forward” by donating the fuel to a local charity or family in need. Drawings are held at the Great Falls Holiday Chamber Mixer, Manchester Area Mixer, Brattleboro Chamber Mixer and annually broadcast with WTSA.