Coats for Kids Program Partners with Schools – Wilmington Advocate

In the past 15 years, the annual Coats for Kids campaign at Anton’s Cleaners, which has locations in Tewksbury and Wilmington, has collected over 600,000 coats, with more than half coming from the efforts of students throughout the region.

With this year’s Coats for Kids now in full swing, Anton’s Cleaners is once again looking to schools in eastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire to become involved and help their others stay warm this winter.

Along with benefiting their communities, participating schools will enter the School Rewards Program, which recognizes the top three elementary and middle schools that collect the most coats per student enrolled. Prizes include $1,200 of furnishings for the Student Area from Jordan’s Furniture, a $250 gift certificate to Paul’s TV, a sundae and pizza party, cash rewards, gift certificates for school supplies, and a visit by a FOX 25 Meteorologist.

Along with the prizes, the genuine goodwill generated by the students resonates throughout each school.

“Every morning during Coats for Kids a student makes an announcement about the dates of the drive, the location of the collection boxes, how the coats are distributed to the needy, and the daily coat count,” said Maryfran Doiron, a seventh-grade science teacher at R.J. Grey Junior High in Acton, which has been collecting coats for 15 years. “This builds enthusiasm throughout the building as the coat count number rises daily. I am often stopped in the hall by students and faculty alike asking how we are doing relative to previous years.”

All participating schools receive posters and flyers to help promote Coats for Kids.

“We provide the tools the students need to be successful,” said Arthur Anton, Jr., chief operating officer of Anton’s Cleaners. “And they provide the determination and enthusiasm that has made Coats for Kids such a success.”

Schools wishing to participate in Coats for Kids, which will be collecting gently worn coats through Jan. 8, 2011, can register online at, or by calling Danielle Kempe at 617-328-0069 ext. 26 or by e-mail at

Anton’s Cleaners is a family-owned, Massachusetts business that first opened its doors in Lowell, in 1913. The company has 43 dry cleaning stores throughout Eastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. For locations, visit

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