In the midst of September’s mild temperatures, it’s easy to forget how harsh Ontario’s winters can get. But those cold months aren’t far away, and local efforts to help protect young children in need are about to get under way.
Smiths Falls’ 2017 snowsuit campaign will be officially launched Monday, Sept. 18 at Andress Your Independent Grocer.
The Rotary Club of Smiths Falls is joining forces with the Smiths Falls Police Service for the launch, set for 10 a.m. to noon. The Rotary Club will be represented at the launch by Rotarian Larry Allen, and organizers hope to fill a police cruiser with donated winter wear.
The local campaign will run until Oct. 28. Snowsuits will distributed on the weekends of Oct. 28-29, and Nov. 4-5. The distribution point for Smiths Falls is the Gallipeau Centre, with owner Joe Gallipeau donating space to Family and Children’s Services of Leeds, Lanark and Grenville each year for sorting and distribution.
Snowsuit drop boxes will be located at the following schools: Montague Public School, Lombardy Public School, Chimo Elementary School, Duncan J. Schoular Public School, St. James the Greater Catholic School, St. Francis de Sales Catholic School, and Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute. Donations may also be dropped off at Andress Independent Grocer, Smiths Falls Memorial Community Centre, The Cooperators Insurance at 52 Abbott St. North, and at Giant Tiger on Chambers Street.
More than 500 snowsuits are distributed throughout Lanark County to children and youth in need each year. The public are asked to support the campaign by recycling gently used snowsuits, winter jackets, and snow pants, or by making cash donations.
Rotary Club President Ken Graham updated Smiths Falls town council in 2016 on plans for last year’s local snowsuit campaign.