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September 26, 2012

Local groups look to collect coats in the mitten state

By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer

BIRMINGHAM — The air in Michigan has turned cooler, and many of us have reached for our favorite sweaters and jackets for the first time in months. But for some people in the community, a warm coat is just out of reach.

That’s why for a second year Summit Sports and Volunteers of America have joined together for their Lift Ticket to Warmth Winter Jacket Drive. From now through the end of the year, the program will collect and distribute winter coats to those who need them around metro Detroit, Lansing, Battle Creek and Benton Harbor.

“Last year, the Lift Ticket to Warmth program showed the amazing generosity of the community. We collected more than 230 jackets for adults and children who need winter coats,” said Steve Kopitz, CEO of Summit Sports Inc. in a prepared statement. “This year, our continuing partnership with Volunteers of America to distribute winter jackets will go a long way in helping to keep people warm this winter.”

Jackets can be donated at a number of locations in the area where Summit Sports merchandise is sold, including Don Thomas Sporthaus in downtown Birmingham. Those donating a jacket will receive $25 off current year jackets or $10 off current year pants, though no purchase is necessary to donate.

Hans Erni, manager of Don Thomas Sporthaus, said he’s pleased to be participating in such a worthy cause for a second year.

“It’s just giving back to the community. There’s a lot of people in the Detroit area who obviously don’t have money to buy winter coats. We’re just trying to give something back.”

For those in need, jackets will be distributed by Volunteers of America, a national nonprofit that prides itself in helping neighbors in need since 1896 with programs for at-risk youth, senior citizens, homeless individuals and more.

“We are excited that Summit Sports Inc. has chosen to continue the donation program this year,” said Alex Brodrick, president and CEO of Volunteers of America Michigan in a prepared statement. “This year with the earlier kick-off we will be able to get an even greater number of winter coasts on the backs of those who need them.”

To find out how to receive a jacket, call Volunteers of America at (248) 945-0101. Jackets to be donated can be brought to Don Thomas Sporthaus, 690 S. Old Woodward Ave. in downtown Birmingham.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Tiffany Esshaki at tesshaki@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1095.