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C’ville Rotary has warm spot in heart for needy kids

Carpentersville Rotary Club member TinCurtis helps student try her new coFriday Golfview Elementary School Carpentersville. 11/16/2. | ErSauder~For Sun-Times Media

Carpentersville Rotary Club member Tina Curtis helps a student try on her new coat on Friday at Golfview Elementary School in Carpentersville. 11/16/2. | Erin Sauder~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 20, 2012 6:09AM

CARPENTERSVILLE — For some students in the Carpentersville community, it’s not uncommon to go an entire winter with only a sweatshirt to ward off the cold due to lack of money for a warm coat.

In order to address that need, members of the Rotary Club of Carpentersville-Morning partnered with the Operation Warm Organization to help provide new winter coats — made out of 100 percent recycled material — to needy children in the area.

The coats were paid for through various fundraisers held throughout the year by the club.

This year, members were able to purchase 300 new coats, which to date adds to more than 800 new winter coats given away to local children. An added bonus to this year’s Operation Warm program was the addition of more than 160 hand knitted hats and scarves that were donated for the children.

Members of the Boys & Girls Club of Dundee Township helped determine the need from the youth in their programs and joined Rotary Club members Friday to help pass out the coats to students at four Carpentersville elementary schools including Golfview, Lakewood, Perry and Parkview.

Golfview student Perla Martinez, 6, was excited to receive a pink coat.

“My mom will be happy because she wants me to be warm,” she said.

Fellow classmate Joshua Rico, 6, couldn’t wait to try on his new coat.

“My mom wants me to get a coat because when it gets cold outside I get sick,” he said.

Carpentersville Village President Ed Ritter was also on hand at Golfview on Friday to help pass out coats to the children.

“We have a lot of people with needs in Carpentersville, and anything I can be involved with to help fill those basic needs I’m excited about,” he said.

For Tina Curtis, past president of the Rotary Club of Carpentersville-Morning, there is an added perk to helping with the program: “Watching the kid’s faces when they get their new coats,” she said.

She said the purpose of the Rotary Club is to promote humanitarian service.

“And this is the best hands-on way to do that,” she said.

Community Unit School District 300 Superintendent Michael Bregy praised the Rotary’s initiative to undertake the program.

“With Thanksgiving coming up, this is a great time to see the benefits of having the Rotary Club be a part of the community,” he said. “And what a wonderful opportunity for the kids.”

Rotary Club members laud the support of the community, including local businesses and leaders.

“We are deeply grateful for every bit of support and the ability to give back to our hometown,” said secretary James Olvera.

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