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‘Driving Away the Cold’ with coats for kids

Local dealerships, pulling together to keep kids warm this winter.

Did you know that thousands of kids right here in our region wouldn’t have a warm coat for the winter ahead – predicted to be colder than normal – if it weren’t for the kindness of car dealers?

As participating dealers in the Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia’s “Driving Away the Cold” campaign, Fred Beans and several other Bucks County area dealerships fulfilled pledges to buy a brand new winter coat for an underprivileged child each time they sold a vehicle in September. It amounted to 30,000 new children’s coats this year, or around 7,000 more than last year’s campaign collected!

Many hands make light work: Brian Nesbit, FB Dodge; Kevin Mazzucola, executive director, Automobile Dealers Assn. of Greater Philadelphia’s CARing for Kids Foundation; Barbara Beans, FB Fleet manager; David Penske, CARing for Kids trustee; Jack Lafferty, Lafferty Chevrolet; Phil Calvert, FB Subaru; and Lisa Peruto, Keenan Motors.

And on Tuesday, October 16, a crowd of men and women from local dealerships helped unload cartons containing 506 coats to the Central Bucks Family YMCA for central Bucks County children in need.

The Fred Beans Family of Dealerships pledged a total of 455 coats, which will be given away in the southeastern Pennsylvania communities where the automotive organization operates its 13 dealerships: Doylestown, Boyertown, Devon, Limerick and West Chester.

Central Bucks distribution
To get those 506 children’s coats into the hands of those families most needing them, the Y will host the Coats for Our Kids “Spreading Warmth in the Community” distribution on a first come, first serve basis. The first is a private offering to the Y’s financial assistance members from 4 to 6pm on Wednesday, October 17. The Central Bucks community at large is then welcome to choose coats from 6 to 8pm Wednesday evening and again on Thursday, October 18, from 4 to 6pm. The new children’s coats in sizes 3T and up will be in the Y’s Community Room at 2500 Lower State Rd, Doylestown. Contact Trish Genghini, 215-348-8131 x1114, with any questions.

Coats for Kids campaign
“Driving Away the Cold” is a philanthropic program started in January of 2008 by the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation, of which Fred Beans Family of Dealerships is a member. The program has one simple but very important mission—to provide new winter coats to underprivileged children living in the five-county region of Philadelphia.

Since then, the Foundation kicks off the program every year with a donation of 10,000 new child-sized coats to the effort. It then invites area new car dealers to continue the giving by participating in a special month-long campaign titled WE PLEDGE. Through this supplemental program, 170 participating dealerships pledged an additional brand-new winter coat to a child in need when a vehicle was sold during the month of September. These efforts are resulting in the distribution of approximately 30,000 brand-new winter coats to children in need this month. The coats are distributed via a number of outlets such as area school districts, YMCAs, shelters and more.

At the end of October, the total number of coats given through the Driving Away the Cold program in five years will be 108,950.

In the top photo are, from left, John Thompson, Thompson Organization; Barbara Beans and Maryann Bianco, Fred Beans Family of Dealerships; Jack Lafferty, Lafferty Chevrolet; Jim Craig, Keystone Volvo; Tony Satterthwaite, Mark Donahue, Phil Calvert, Sean Frawley and Brian Nesbitt, Fred Beans Family of Dealerships; Kevin Mazzucola, executive director, Automobile Dealers Assn. of Greater Philadelphia’s CARing for Kids Foundation; Lisa Peruto, Keenan Motors; and Zane Moore, CEO, Central Bucks Family YMCA. Not shown: Bill O’Neil, O’Neil Nissan, and David Penske, ADAGP CARing for Kids Foundation trustee.