Studebaker club donates $500 to buy coats for kids with cancer

The North Star Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club presented Pilgrim Cleaners a check Oct. 2 to buy new coats for children with cancer.

The club has been involved in the Brooklyn Park-based company’s Coats for Kids program for the past four years.

“We’re a nonprofit car club, and we put on two car shows a year, a Memorial Day car show and a Labor Day care show,” said the club’s treasurer, Joan Lemke of Plymouth. “We give our profits to charitable organizations.”

Each Studebaker owner who wishes to participate in one of the shows pays a fee, and admission is free to the public.

The club raised $1,000 for Coats for Kids last year. Profits were lower this year, but it still donated $500 to the cause.

Although the program focuses on collecting gently used coats to be cleaned for children in need, it’s also important to collect donations for buying new coats.

“They cannot give coats that have been cleaned to children that are in treatment for cancer,” Lemke said. “So with monetary donations they are able to go out and buy new coats for the kids with cancer.”

Pilgrim Cleaners’ President Bonnie Engler personally shops for new coats using the donated money.

The Coats for Kids program’s overall goal is to collect 10,000 coats this year. The collection drive runs through Friday, Oct. 11.

Pilgrim Cleaners has collected more than 385,000 coats since it started the program in 1986. Sun Newspapers, WCCO Radio, KARE 11 and Subway are sponsors.

Anyone who wants to donate a gently used coat can take it to any of the 25 Pilgrim Cleaners locations or the Sun Newspapers offices in Eden Prairie and Osseo. The program accepts coats for children and adults. Go online to find the location nearest you.

Pilgrim will clean the coats and give them to eight metro-area charities, which will distribute them to those in need.

Community members can also send monetary gifts to the Coats for Kids fund, c/o Pilgrim Cleaners, 3217 85th Ave. N., Brooklyn Park 55443. One hundred percent of donations will go toward purchasing new children’s coats.

Schools are encouraged to organize their own coat drives. The school that collects the most will win a Subway Party and a plaque for the school.



Contact Jonathan Young at [email protected]