Mister Rogers' sweater drive to benefit local families

Donations of new sweaters, hats and mittens are being collected for the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Sweater Drive taking place in the area from Nov. 16 to Dec. 9. As part of the event, hosted by Dickinson Center, Inc.'s Children's Prevention Services, numerous donation boxes have been placed throughout St. Marys. Locations include Giant Eagle, Marienstadt Center, Apollo Theatre, Mountain Laurel Federal Credit Union, St. Marys Public Library and the Boys and Girls Club, as well as Dickinson Center at 110 Lincoln St. in Ridgway."We encourage everyone to drop off a pair of mittens, hat or sweater and hope this will be a successful event for our community," said Parents as Teacher Educator (PAT) Nicky Cashmer, co-organizer with fellow PAT Deanne Meyer.Meyer said residents should look for large white donation boxes decorated with colorful mittens, hat and sweaters.A kickoff event for the sweater drive is being held Wednesday, Nov. 16 at the St. Marys Area Ambulance Service garage, located on the Johnsonburg Road. From 2-5 p.m., visitors will have the opportunity to meet and have photos taken or get autographs with David Newell, otherwise known as "Mr. McFeely," the postal carrier from the popular children's television show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."Newell's appearance is sponsored by St. Marys Insurance."We're excited to meet Mr. McFeely because he was an icon for us growing up," said Meyer.