Kids Get Coats Through Operation Warm

Operation Warm, organized by the Professional Firefighters of Utah, provide coats to second and third grade students at Backman Elementary School, Salt Lake City. Photo:Gephardt Daily/Kurt Walter

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – November 11 (Gephardt Daily) – Second- and third-grade students at Backman Elementary headed home Wednesday a little cozier than they arrived.

Operation Warm provided 172 new coats to students at the school, located at 601 North 1500 West. Backman Elementary was selected this year based on student needs, with 98 percent of the students qualifying for free or reduced meals.

“We certainly appreciate this opportunity to make sure our kids have all they need,” said Heather Newell, principal. “We’re super thankful to have Local 81 here.”

The fundraiser and coat delivery was organized by firefighters from the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Local 81 (Salt Lake City) and the Salt Lake City Fire Department. Alpine Cleaning and Restoration made a donation.

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“(Captain) Tony Allred from Local 81 invited us to help raise funds with him,” said Bart Caley, from Alpine Cleaning and Restoration. “We ended up getting him to his goal and donating and additional $500 towards the next school. So they invited us to come up here today and help put coats on kids. It’s great to see the joy in kids’ eyes and to know they are going to be warm this winter. It’s awesome.”

Utah Businesses Insurance Company also contributed to the cause. Operation Warm is an annual effort by the Professional Firefighters of Utah.

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