By Howida Sorour-Roberts
It’s hard to think about winter in 30 degree weather, but the Lanark Child and Family Services snowsuit campaign will be starting soon. In a delegation to the Smiths Falls Committee of the Whole on Monday, Aug. 8, Ken Graham, president of the Rotary Club of Smiths Falls highlighted the need to bring awareness to this year’s campaign.
“Last year 524 snowsuits were distributed in this area, more than 200 in Smiths Falls,” said Graham.
As Graham pointed out, hot as it’s been this summer, the fall and winter will be upon us soon, and for the second consecutive year Rotary is partnering with Lanark Child and Family Services to collect snowsuits in Smiths Falls. This year they’ve also recruited the Smiths Falls Police Services to help kick-off the campaign.
“I’m here today to raise awareness of the campaign and ask that anyone that has a gently worn snowsuit to please drop it off, or you can buy one to drop off or make a cash donation to Lanark Child and Family services,” said Graham.
There will be numerous drop boxes throughout the community again this year including a box at the arena and one at town hall as well as all the area schools, Canadian Tire, Andress Independent Grocer, Giant Tiger and at Rotary Collegiate Hall. The Rotary Club will collect all the drop boxes on a regular basis and take them to the distribution centre at the Gallipeau Centre. Each year space is donated to the Child and Family Services for use of the campaign.
“We don’t have an exact date for when the boxes will be out yet, but I suspect it will be at the first opportunity after the Labour Day weekend,” said Graham.
Anyone wishing to receive a snowsuit can pick one up. There is no pre-qualification process and no long forms to fill out, said Graham. “Any snow suits that are left over are provided to the Salvation Army for distribution, nothing gets discarded,” he added.
Smiths Falls Mayor Shawn Pankow asked whether the campaign also collects boots, mitts and hats.
“I’m not aware of them taking anything other than snowsuits — whether one or two-piece snowsuits,” replied Graham.
Graham went on to thank Rideau Cleaners, who cleaned 150 snowsuits last year free of charge and have agreed to partner with the snowsuit campaign again this year. He also thanked Jay Brennan, Smiths Falls councillor and past president of the Rotary Club for his tireless help with the drop-offs and pick-ups last year.