For 11 years, an energetic volunteer corps has provided thousands of new coats for area schoolchildren, one low-income elementary school at a time.
The Koats4Kids founding team stepped down last year, handing over the tradition to longtime volunteers and newcomers.
It was party night Oct. 13 at The Pinery when guests arrived with armloads of coats, more than 250 of them and enough for every student at Queen Palmer Elementary School. When there were too many of some coat sizes and not enough of others, Walmart stepped in to swap them.
Another part of Koats4Kids always has been cash donations to causes such as scholarships to the Colorado Springs Conservatory. This year's $7,000 goes to the Academy for Advanced & Creative Learning K-8 charter school for an eco-friendly, natural playground that will be open to the public. Pike Park is named for Pike Elementary School, which had been on that West Side site.
School volunteers and Principal Nikki Myers had put together the evening's silent auction. Leading the volunteers for the 11th Koats4Kids were Tina Dewar and Courtney Olson, whose late father was the first Koats4Kids sponsor.