Members of the Bradford Rotary Club made brief stops Wednesday at George G. Blaisdell Elementary School and School Street Elementary School to drop off brand new winter coats for children in need. From left are GGB Principal Kelly Swanson; Paul Ridley, Rotary Club Treasurer; William W. Chapman, Rotary Club President; Don Fredeen, Rotary Club Past President; and in front, second grade student Serenity, who modeled one of the coats.

This fall, 110 children residing in the Bradford Area School District will receive brand-new coats courtesy of the Bradford Rotary Club and in partnership with the Blaisdell Foundation.

“Nearly 46% of local children live in poverty and a warm coat is an essential item during McKean County winters,” said William W. Chapman, Rotary Club president. “We are proud to partner with the Blaisdell Foundation and Operation Warm on this initiative to make an impact on our community — especially this year, when more families than ever are in need.”

For the fourth consecutive year, The Rotary Club has worked with Operation Warm, a national nonprofit dedicated to providing warmth, confidence and hope for children in need through the gift of brand-new coats. Founded in 1998, Operation Warm and its partners have provided over 3.5 million coats across North America.

“We are grateful to the Blaisdell Foundation and individual Rotary Club members who donate to these efforts,” stated Paul Ridley, Rotary Club treasurer. “This year we were unable to hand out the coats to the students in-person because of the pandemic. Typically, it is one of the highlights of the Rotary year.”

Rotary Club membership is open to service- oriented residents and those who work/live in the area. Club projects include Polio Plus, Operation Warm, 219 Highway Clean Up, a raffle to support Special Olympics, a pancake breakfast to support annual service projects and an annual golf tournament. The club supports many local non-profits and initiatives.

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