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story.lead_photo.caption Photo submitted The former pro shop at the Bella Vista Country Club was transformed into a free coat store for two days earlier this month, thanks to the POA's Community Involvement Committee.

Although he doesn't have an exact count, Dylan Shaddox, chairman of the POA's Community Involvement Committee considers the 2019 coat drive a success. He estimated that about 500 coats had been collected and almost all of them were new or very gently used.

A similar number was collected last year, Shaddox said, but distribution this year was planned a little differently.

On Saturday, Nov. 16, and Sunday, Nov. 17, the committee set up a free coat store in the old pro shop at the Country Club. The coats were sorted by size and many were hung so the public was free to come and shop for a coat.

"We told them to take as much as they need to stay warm. No questions asked," Shaddox said. The store stayed busy both days.

The committee, which now has only four members, got some help from the POA staff.

On Thursday, after the regular POA staff meetings, several members went over to the shop to help set up the free store, recreation director Joan Glubczynski said. The staff enjoyed the experience, she said.

Cathy Wilmoth, Riordan Hall manager, said her staff did some sorting as they emptied the donation boxes. She also helped man the store which was busy Saturday morning.

"We met a lot of nice families," she said, adding that everyone was very appreciative.

The coats that were left after the store will be divided up among schools that serve Bella Vista children, Shaddox said. If there are more coats left after that, some may be donated to The DEB Project, which runs a thrift store in Bentonville that supports foster families.

This is the third year for the annual project.

General News on 11/27/2019

Print Headline: Coat drive keeps residents warm

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