Keeping families warm

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Austin Montgomery/Beloit Daily News (From left): Mobil owners Charlie Samra and Harry Samra stand with workers Maggie Vera-Lopez, Kristine Fair and manager Melissa McAdory. The Samra family will host Coats 4 Kids in conjunction with the Stateline Area Boys & Girls Club from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

BELOIT - The Samra family has been doing business in Beloit for 13 years. The family and two dozen businesses across the Stateline Area are pitching in to host a "Coats 4 Kids" event on Saturday.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Stateline Boys and Girls Club - E.J. Dalton Campus, 1851 Moore St.

Harry Samra said after hosting a Thanksgiving dinner last year for those in need, he knew he wanted to do something bigger.

"I wanted to do something for the community and I wanted to give back," Samra said. "We were able to use that contact at the Boys and Girls Club, and they were more than happy to get on board. I am in the community and I want to help out however I can."

Samra partnered with the Stateline Area Boys and Girls Club to purchase over 200 jackets for kids aged 6 months to teenagers.

Samra said there will be games, food and raffles for gift cards donated by various businesses.

According to School District of Beloit Homeless Liaison Robin Stuht, currently there are 351 families with students enrolled in the district that are "in transition and facing economic hardship," with 76 unaccompanied homeless teens without a parent or guardian in the district.

All coats are free to families in need, and children must be present with an adult in order to receive a coat while supplies last. Pre-registration occurred leading up to the event, but families are welcome to come on Saturday even if they did not register.

"I wanted to be able to give back and be a part of everything," Samra said.

Jackets were purchased at a discounted rate from the Janesville Kohls and Target stores, along with Walmart in Beloit.

Samra said he wanted to thank all the businesses that came together to help kids in need during the holidays.

Participating businesses include Lucy's #7 Burger Bar, Old Fashion Bakery, Texas Roadhouse, Frito-Lay, Pinnon Meats, Buffalo Wild Wings, Starbucks, Famous Dave's, Piggly Wiggly, Schubert's Luxury 10 Theater, Beloit Family Restaurant, Sophia's restaurant, Burlington Coat Factory, Sam's Club, The Rock Bar and Grill, Save-A-Lot, Ink Smart, Finnegan's RV Center, Culver's restaurant, Applebee's restaurant and Qdoba restaurant.

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