About 150 elementary school-age children will be warmer this winter, thanks to a group of motorcyclists.
The Warren County Chapter of A.B.A.T.E. has been holding a fund drive to help kids keep warm this winter.
A.B.A.T.E. stands for the Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education.
The mission of A.B.A.T.E. is to protect the rights of motorcyclists.
The Warren County Chapter, whose 84 members include motorcyclists from Corry and Warren County, has been on a mission to provide new winter coats, hats and mittens to children this winter.
Dave Reagle, president of the Warren County Chapter, said “Coats for Kids” so far has resulted in the chapter purchasing 148 coats for boys and girls from preschool age to sixth grade.
Reagle said jars were set out at several businesses in Warren County and Corry to collect money for the winter coats and jackets.
All the coats purchased are brand-new.
Every time the group collected about $75 to $80, Reagle and his wife would go to either Kmart in the Warren Mall or Walmart in Corry to buy coats.
Reagle said $548 alone was also collected at Hog Haven in Youngsville, where the Warren County Chapter holds its monthly meetings.
Reagle said he will contact the Warren County and Corry school districts to find out how to distribute the coats. He said the Corry Area School District was included because Columbus Elementary School is part of the Corry Area School District even though it is located in Warren County.
Reagle also said the majority of the chapter’s membership live in the Corry and Columbus areas.
“We’re going to talk to personnel in the school districts — nurses and counselors — to find out who would benefit from a coat,” Reagle said.
Reagle said people have been very generous. One woman, who Reagle and his wife met at Kmart, asked what they were doing with all the coats. When Reagle explained the coat drive, the woman gave him a $50 donation.
Reagle said he hopes to distribute the coats in early October. Once the coats are all bought and distributed, Reagle plans to start collecting funds for next year’s coat drive.
See the Journal's Friday, September 4th edition for full story.