Return to Headlines

Knights With Shiny Warm Winter Gear

As the fall season comes, not only does it bring changing fall colors, but also colder temperatures and rainy days. The staff at Panther Lake Elementary knew they needed to step in to provide their students with coats, hats, and warm winter gear to make sure their students stayed warm.  

“As the days started getting colder this fall, our staff realized we were in for a long and cold season, seeing many of our students in need of warm clothing, I reached out to my Resource Development Manager Marisa, with Communities in Schools, to have an idea of how we can ensure that our students would be warm this winter,” said Pam Pogson, principal at Panther Lake Elementary School. 

Marisa steered Pam towards Mary and Lyn, from the Knights of Columbus (KOC). The Knights of Columbus have done coat drives with other Kent School District elementary schools in the past, providing new winter coats, knitted hats, and warm gloves. Panther Lake’s first, second, and third-grade students were selected, and plans were put in place to distribute coats at the school.  

Why Panther Lake? “I do remember the incredible diversity at PL. I was happy we got to pick a school we had not [done] a coat drive [with] before. In the recent past, we have given out [coats] to Scenic Hill and Neely- O’Brien,” said Lyn Johnson of the Knights of Columbus. 

There were 250 winter coats distributed to students. Volunteers from KOC and St. John the Baptist Church met students in the cafeteria. Students were able to choose a new, warm winter coat from a variety of colors and sizes.   

“Oh this is going to keep me so warm,” was heard from one student and another student commented at recess, “I’m so hot but I don’t want to take this coat off.”    

Additionally, KOC was able to hand out a dozen knitted hats and gloves. The hats were crocheted by Betty DeWolf, a KOC volunteer. Betty crochets hats all year long just for this project. .  

“The Knights and volunteers want to thank the students and staff at Panther Lake for their enthusiasm and appreciation. The resounding ‘Thank You’ by each class as they left in new warm coats and hats, warmed the hearts of the volunteers,” said Lyn Johnson, from KOC. 

In a time of need, our PL community and KOC volunteers came together to create a day that many of our students will never forget.