ROME, N.Y. - Two well-known Rome charity drives are uniting this holiday season for an event on December 2nd.
The Dave Dominic Memorial coat drive commemorates the giving spirit of the man who started the yearly event, orignally named 'Donate to Coat.' Dave Dominic passed away from a heart attack in 2016, and his friends and family members continue to hold it in his honor.
Leading up to the event, there will also be drop-off sites around the city of Rome:
All Creatures Boarding and Grooming
6572 Williams Road - Rome
(accepting through 12/4 - for each toy or monetary donation - you will earn one entry into either a "Cozy @ Home" or "Doggy Delights" raffle basket)
Bouton Physical Therapy
221 S. James Street - Rome
1205 Erie Blvd W. - Rome
310 E. Chestnut Street - Rome
5946 Rome Taberg Road - Rome
611 E. Dominick Street - Rome
12 1/2 E. Park Row - Clinton
Studio 365 Athletic Arts
8514 NY-365 - Stittville
"My brother Dave had a big heart," Jackie Ziebiegan, Dave's sister said. "He loved people. I'm trying to be strong like him and we're trying to do it with the coat drive, to keep it going."
This year, the coat drive organizers are teaming up with the founders of Isabella & Friends Annual Toy Drive. Spearheaded by a Rome mother and her three-year-old daughter, Isabella, the toy drive collects presents for Rome children in need. This is the second year of the toy drive.
"I'm really excited to see years from now, when she's older and understands it to kind of have her take it on," Shannon Todora, founder of the toy drive said. "I was completely shocked when I first approached the Rome Rescue Mission. I thought that maybe 20, 30, 40 kids might be able to be helped. The year before, they had helped 800 kids.
Todora was also a friend of the late Dominic, and says joining their charities was an easy decision.
"It was just a great pairing," Todora said. "Both proceeds go to the Rome Rescue Mission."
"Dave would be happy about it," Zbiegien said. "He would love it because he knows he's helping other people."
The two charity drives will be held on the same day, December 2nd at The Mill in Rome. Donations of toys and coats will be accepted from noon to 4:00 p.m.
(See sidebar for additional drop-off locations)