A huge crowd of sponsors, educators and community leaders gathered for the Bountiful Rotary’s Annual Coats for Kids Car Show Kickoff, held late last week. The car show, scheduled for June 11-12, stretches activities across several city blocks to raise money to get coat vouchers for South Davis kids in need.
“We’re absolutely thrilled as a city to support the car show,” said Bountiful Mayor Joe Johnson. “It’s amazing, but what’s even more amazing to me are the kids that will actually benefit from this. They’re going to our stores and buying coats they never could have before.”
Months of planning and the assistance of dozens of community sponsors go toward the creation of the car show and related activities. One of these activities is a burn-out event that draws cars from all over Utah and the surrounding states.
Last year, the event raised more than $23,000 for coats for local kids in need. Since the sponsor donations pay for the bulk of the event costs, the money earned can go straight toward the coat vouchers.
The event’s title sponsor is Burt Brothers Tire and Service, and both Burt brothers were on hand to share their feelings about the car show.
“When we first got involved in this, we questioned the need for coats in Bountiful,” said Wendel Burt. “But it’s been so amazing to see the needs that are out there. This is truly where the rubber meets the road.”
After the car show, the money gets exchanged into coat vouchers which are given to school principals to pass on to the parents of needy students. The vouchers can then be used by the parents to purchase coats, mittens and even boots for their children.
The goal of the program is to make sure the children never know their coat was bought with a voucher.
“When I first heard about the program, I didn’t know if it was the warmth of the coat or the warmth of the dignity that was the most impressive part of it,” said radio personality Amanda Dickson, who spoke briefly at the event. “There’s the physical comfort of the coat, and there’s the emotional comfort of the kids thinking ‘My mom got this for me.’”