Anza Civic Improvement League hosts Veterans Day event at the Park, gives away coats

Riverside County Sheriff Capt. Leonard Purvis assists Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1873 Cmdr. and retired Marine Henry Sokol to prepare the flag for its journey up the pole at the Anza Civic Improvement League Veterans Day at the Park event Saturday, Nov. 11, at Minor Park in Anza. Diane Sieker photo

The Anza Civic Improvement League sponsored a coat and jacket giveaway and a color guard honoring military veterans Saturday, Nov. 11, in Minor Park in Anza.

The cold-weather clothing giveaway had been months in the planning, the amount of donations made it hard to display them all. Leather jackets, sweaters, hoodies, vintage coats and other winter wear were offered to members of the community free of charge. Jackets and coats were hung neatly on two large clothes racks, and huge boxes of additional inventory were stowed under the display tables. Hats, gloves and long-sleeved shirts were also available, all at no charge as a service to the community.

“ACIL would like to thank everyone who so generously contributed to our coat drive. You made a lot of people have a more comfortable winter this year. Thank you!” ACIL member Patricia Whittle said.

Whittle spent weeks collecting, washing, inspecting and sorting the clothes for the event.

At 9 a.m. on the dot, Anza Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1873 Cmdr. and retired Marine Henry Sokol, retired Marine Gary Sagen and Riverside County Sheriff Capt. Leonard Purvis solemnly raised the flag to the top of the flagpole located at the front of the Little Red School House. Onlookers observed a respectful silence in reverence to the veterans honored that day.

The Anza Thimble Club was set up inside the Little Red School House, hosting their famous home-baked fare of cupcakes, cookies, breads and more.

Thimble Club President Sally Kaspar said that one person bought $30 worth of baked goods, then came back later and bought most of what was left.

ACIL is planning many more events in the coming weeks. For more information, including a listing of events, visit them on Facebook at

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