April 17, 2014

Elyria
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American Legion coat drive has good first Saturday

(From left to right) Ja'Quetta Davis, 17 (Elyria High School senior), Libby  Betounes, Ruth Mullen, Sierra Coon, 18 (Elyria High School senior), Evelyn Wahl,  Suzanne White, Katie Nuttal, 17 (Elyria High School senior), and Shirley  Messaros volunteered at the American Legion in Elyria helping the Elyria School  Board collect coats for kids on Saturday, Nov. 9.

Ja’Quetta Davis, 17; Libby Betounes; Ruth Mullen; Sierra Coon, 18;  Evelyn Wahl; Suzanne White; Katie Nuttal, 17; and Shirley Messaros help the Elyria School
Board collect coats for kids on Saturday. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — Last year the city’s American Legion post collected 50 new coats during its annual two-day coat drive.

By the end of Saturday, the first day of this year’s event, organizers had taken in 48 new coats.

“We thought that was pretty good for one day,” Shirley Messaros said Saturday night.

People also donated close to 50 used coats Saturday as well.

“We didn’t count them, but it was close to that number,” Messaros said.

The 2012 drive, which focuses on providing good winter coats for elementary-age boys and girls attending Elyria Schools, took in nearly 400 coats.

Shirley Messaros helps Ruth Koler, of Elyria, unload the several coats she donated to children this winter.

Shirley Messaros helps Ruth Koler, of Elyria, unload the several coats she donated to children this winter.

“They were mostly used and many were not in good shape,” Messaros said.

Which is why sponsors this year made a plea for people to give new coats if possible.

“It was done mostly with health reasons in mind,” Messaros said.

The drive also took in some 25 sets of hats and mittens.

“The weather was nice, and Sunday will hopefully be the same,” Messaros. “Maybe we can get a little more contributions. We understand times are bad, but we are so glad people are giving and supporting this.”

The drive, in its third year, continues noon to 3 p.m. today at the Legion post at Ohio Street and Gulf Road.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.