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Brockton students warm up to a cause

WINTER COATS FOR KIDS: Students in several Brockton schools are stepping up to make sure others have warm coats this winter, in Anton’s Cleaners 17th annual Coats for Kids drive, which runs through next Sunday.

Anton’s president, Charles A. Anton, said that along with students in many other communities participating in the program, “the dedication of our Brockton students has always been an integral part of the success of Coats for Kids. These students realize some of their own neighbors may be in need of a warm coat, and they are taking the necessary steps to make sure no one has to be cold this winter.’’

The students participating attend Downey Elementary School, Hancock Elementary School, Plouffe Academy, and Trinity Catholic Academy in Brockton, Anton said. All elementary and middle school students who registered for the coat drive are eligible to compete in the School Rewards Program, which gives prizes to the three top schools in each level that collect the most coats.


At the beginning of the week, Massachusetts Hospital School in Canton was atop the donation leader board. It won last year in the elementary school category and took home $1,200 in furnishings from Jordan’s Furniture in Avon, a sponsor of the event; a $250 gift certificate from Paul’s TV in Avon; a $250 cash prize; and a visit by a FOX25 meteorologist.

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Since it began, Coats for Kids has distributed nearly 700,000 coats, Anton said. Once the collected coats are cleaned by Anton’s, they are distributed free to agencies such as Interfaith Social Services in Quincy.

Anyone can donate to the program; coats can be dropped off coats at the 43 Anton’s Cleaners locations, including in Braintree, Brockton, Canton, Easton, Marshfield, and Stoughton, or any Jordan’s Furniture store.

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: More than $60,000 was raised at the 14th Annual Interfaith Social Services Feed the Hungry Gala, held at Vincent’s Nightclub at Lombardo’s in Randolph. Live-auction bidding, emceed by NECN news anchor Chet Curtis, was helped by Braintree’s Asia Barnes, a New England Patriots cheerleader. Organizers said the hot auction item was to have Wahlburgers star chef Paul Wahlberg - brother of celebrities Mark Wahlberg and Donnie Wahlberg - as a personal chef for a dinner of eight. Wahlburgers is in the Hingham Shipyard.


Christopher E. Mellen of Dedham, vice president of the Simon Cos. in Braintree, was appointed as a senior vice president of the 18,000-plus member Institute of Real Estate Management. Among his responsibilities in the position is oversight of the institute’s legislative activities.

Daniel F. Hurley of Braintree was elected president of the Utility Workers Union of America Local 369. Hurley, who most recently served the organization as secretary-treasurer, succeeds David Leonardi. Hurley has been a member of Local 369 since 1989, when he joined Boston Edison as an underground cable worker. The local is one of the largest in the state, union officials said, and was the subject of a recent profile in Boston Business Journal’s “Area’s Largest Labor Unions.’’

Get in Shape for Women has opened a franchise at 285 Washington St. in Easton. The company offers small-group personal training, including weight training, cardiovascular exercises, and nutrition advice.

Steven White of Hanover is now working independently as a public relations/marketing consultant, after nearly 35 years of doing the job on corporate and agency levels.

Alison Smith Piasecki of Cohasset has joined the Hingham law firm of Drohan Tocchio & Morgan. She has experience in estate planning, estate administration, and business-succession planning, as well as a background working with nonprofit organizations.


Gastroenterologist Q. Cindy Gao joined Southcoast Physicians Services and is seeing patients at her office in Wareham. She practices at Southcoast Health Systems at Rosebrook in Wareham, a medical practice of 18 primary care and specialty physicians, the Southcoast Center for Weight Loss, and outpatient radiology and laboratory services.

Hingham resident Edward R. Chase was reelected president of the board of directors of Span Inc., a nonprofit in Boston founded in 1978 that helps current or former prison inmates reenter the community. Chase is community services manager at MassHousing, the state’s affordable-housing bank in Boston.

Rick Welker of Plymouth was promoted to chief accounting officer of Beacon Roofing Supply in Peabody. Prior to joining Beacon in 2004, he was vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer of Woodworkers Warehouse in Lynn.

Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at