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Coats create cheer in Marysville
Benedict Smith won't have to hug his mother so much thanks to the new coat he picked up Saturday.
"It's warm," the 6-year-old Olivehurst youth explained. "So warm that it means I won't need to hug Mom because she's so warm."
Hundreds of Yuba-Sutter residents hoping to stay warm this winter lined up early Saturday for coats at the annual Coats for Kids and Adults drive in Marysville.
More than 130 people waited in a line in the morning chill before the doors opened at Camp Singer at Bi-County Juvenile Hall in the giveaway sponsored by the Sunset Buttes Lions Club. Hundreds more arrived throughout the morning and early afternoon to receive one of the 2,000 coats available for children and adults.
"I like my hat, scarf and gloves because they make me look cute," said Leigha McDaniel, 6, of Wheatland.
Organizer Dianne Overton of Yuba City said more than 30,000 coats have been given away in the 16 years of the program's existence. "I think it is so neat our community donates so many coats. It warms your heart to see you are helping people."
Every kid received a coat, a shirt, a sweater, a beanie, mittens and a hot dog, at least until they ran out of hot dogs, Overton said.
"I came to get coats for my kids," said Kaylia Delozier, 24, of Marysville.
Delozier had her 11-month-old daughter, Rose Torres, and 4-year-old son, Frank Lopez, in tow.
Camp Singer personnel, Butler Cleaners, Peach Bowl Lions Club, Pride Lions Club and the Willows' Lions Club all chipped in. From the beginning of the program, Butler Cleaners has cleaned all of the coats and clothing free of charge.
Yuba City's Regina Caudillo brought her 4-year-old granddaughter and 1-year-old grandson.
"It's really good for people with large families that can't always afford to buy things for their children because kids outgrow things so fast," Caudillo said. "It's also nice because (the program) helps a lot of the homeless people stay warm during the winter."
Benedict's mother, Pamela, said she donated the clothing her children have outgrown to the Salvation Army before she picked up their new clothes Saturday.
Benedict's 8-year-old big brother, Zachariah, was also happy with his new jacket.
"It's a (Sacramento) Kings' jacket," he said with a smile. "No, they're not my favorite team, I like all the teams."
While the Kings may not be his favorite team, they did make his favorite jacket.