by Lisa Tome
No matter what the weather, there's a warming trend in Cecil County.
Coat drives have begun.
The annual Coats for Kids campaign started November 1 at local public schools. This initiative started 35 years ago under the leadership of former school administrator and state delegate David Rudolph. Roger Owens has cleaned the coats since the drive started. First under Rudolph's direction, now Owens, who owns O' Kleen Cleaners and Laundromat and Village Laundromat in Elkton, does the work in partnership with the local Kiwanis. "I used to pick up the coats in my 1995 Ford Taurus. I would pile them so high that I couldn't see," said Owens, who now does coat pick ups and drop offs in his van. New and gently worn coats for children and adults are taken to schools and companies such as W.L. Gore and Terumo. They are then cleaned at Owens' businesses. Next, they are taken to the Cecil County Help Center on High Street in Elkton. Anyone can go there and get a coat free of charge.