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Warm feelings; Local youngster spearheads coat collection drive for The Beacon

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Jayden Franklin stands next to the many coats that have been collected so far at the Courtland Hotel and Aveda Day Spa, which is conducting a coat drive through Dec. 18 to benefit The Beacon, a local food pantry and community assistance agency.(Jason E. Silvers/Tribune)
A local youngster's idea will keep many area residents warmer this winter.

Ten-year-old Jayden Franklin, a student at Eugene Ware Elementary School, said he got the idea to conduct a coat drive from a similar event he saw on television and mentioned it to his grandmother, Cheryl Adamson, co-owner of the Courtland Hotel and Aveda Spa Salon, who liked the idea. The drive will benefit The Beacon, a local food pantry and community assistance agency.

"It inspired me to do one in our town," Jayden said.

Since the drive began a couple of weeks ago, the local business has received more than 50 new and used coats of varying sizes, colors and styles.

"I'm really happy with the number of coats," Jayden said. "When I came in here and saw the whole table was filled, I was like 'Cool.'"

Adamson said the hope is that even if people don't have money to donate given the economy, they may have some coats lying around at home they can donate to a good cause.

"This is a really giving community," she said.

Staff at the hotel and spa will be accepting winter coats of all types and sizes for adults and children through Tuesday, Dec. 18. Coats can be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday at the business.

Staff plan to hand out the coats from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19, at Community Christian Church during the distribution of gifts to registered families in The Beacon's annual Adopt-a-Child program. Jayden said he also plans to help distribute the coats to needy families.

With as many coats as the hotel and spa has already received, even more are expected soon, Jayden said.

"There are more that people have actually donated," he said. "There is still a lot coming. I've seen pictures."

Adamson said any coats that are left over may be donated to other local charities that need them.

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