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Due to overwhelming need for coats, Colvin Cleaners changes location for first distribution

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Wed, Oct 31st 2018 02:15 pm
A line of people in need of winter clothes stretches around Elmwood Avenue. (Submitted photo)
A line of people in need of winter clothes stretches around Elmwood Avenue. (Submitted photo)
Free distribution of coats Saturday, Nov. 3, at Kenmore Knights of Columbus
Due to an overwhelming outpouring of families in need of coats and winter items at the Colvin Cleaners warehouse last year, the company has moved this Saturday's first free distribution to the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1530 Kenmore Ave., between Elmwood and Delaware Avenues in North Buffalo. It will run from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. One coat per person will be distributed. If children are not with adults, adult needs the children's id numbers.
The 23rd annual "Coats 4 Kids" program, supported by The Allstate Foundation and Fidelis Care, began its collection of winter items on Oct. 1. Donations can be made at Colvin Cleaners: 2375 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore; Allstate Insurance agencies; and Fidelis Care. For a complete listing and addresses of all locations, visit www.coats4kidswny.com.
A record 6,077 coats were donated to "Coats 4 Kids" at its live drive with WIVB-TV last week.
"From the phone calls our team at Colvin Cleaners has been receiving this month, we are planning for many families in need to attend our distribution on Saturday. The Knights of Columbus hall gives us much more room to display the coats by size and tables with the hats, gloves and scarves," said Paul A. Billoni, president and CEO of the family-owned Colvin Cleaners. "Our goal at each of the distributions is to make the families and children feel as welcome as possible and to give them enough room and time to select that perfect coat to keep them warm this summer."
With the support of The Allstate Foundation and Fidelis Care, there are now more than 50 donation locations throughout Western New York, making it convenient for everyone to go through their closets and donate gently used or new winter coats, jackets, gloves, hats and scarves for toddlers to young adults for families in need this winter season.
"Every year our goal remains the same: The ability to provide coats to all families who otherwise could not afford them. We all know how cold it gets here in WNY, so we need to make sure everyone can stay warm," Billoni added.
Over the past 23 years, Colvin Cleaners has collected, cleaned, sorted and distributed, for free, more than 80,000 coats to children in need throughout Western New York. Last year, a record 13,350 coats were distributed.
Billoni said he continues to see the need increasing.
"I am confident our generous neighbors throughout WNY will come through again for this much-needed drive," he said. "For us, it is all worthwhile when families come in and go through the racks of coats or pick out a pair of gloves that will keep them warm this winter. When they smile or say 'Thank you,' it puts tears in your eyes."                                                              
Phil Billoni founded Colvin Cleaners more than 80 years ago. His brothers, Tony and Santo, worked in the business for more than 50 years. Tony's son, Paul, has worked there for 42 years. His son, Christopher, is vice president and a third-generation member of the family business.
Colvin Cleaners is the only area drycleaners to use the environmentally friendly Green Earth cleaning solution. For more information, visit www.colvincleaners.com.
Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation. Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people's well-being and prosperity. With a focus on building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, empowering youth and celebrating the charitable community involvement of Allstate agency owners and employees, The Allstate Foundation works to bring out the good in people's lives. For more information, visit www.AllstateFoundation.org
As a mission-driven health plan, Fidelis Care offers quality, affordable coverage for children and adults of all ages and at all stages of life, including products available through NY State of Health: The Official Health Plan Marketplace. With more than 1.6 million members statewide, Fidelis Care was founded on the belief that all New Yorkers should have access to affordable, quality health insurance. For more information, call Fidelis Care at 1-888-FIDELIS (1-888-343-3547) or visit www.fideliscare.org.
The "Coats 4 Kids" distribution dates are:
  • Nov. 3: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Knights of Columbus, 1530 Kenmore Ave., Buffalo
  • Nov. 17: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., True Bethel Baptist Church, 907 E. Ferry St., Buffalo
  • Dec. 1: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Lake Erie Italian Club, 3200 South Park Ave., Lackawanna

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