ROCKLAND, Maine — The city’s four historic inns launched an early Coats and Toys for Kids Day on Sunday with the annual three-hour inn-to-inn tour in conjunction with the weekend’s Festival of Lights celebration.
Those who took the tours brought coats, money and toys to donate to the campaign.
Innkeepers also offered tips and recipes on cooking breakfast for a holiday crowd, said Cheryl Michaelsen, co-owner of The Berry Manor Inn. Visitors were invited to sample an assortment of pastries, cider, coffee and punch.
Michaelsen and her husband, Mike LaPosta, prepared cinnamon French toast.
Capt. Lindsey House Inn featured traditional souffle egg bake, a specialty of co-owner Ellen Barnes’ kitchen.
LimeRock Inn, owned by Frank Isganitis and P.J. Walter, made In-a-pinch miniquiches for guests, while Ed and Joan Hantz at the Granite Inn invited the other innkeepers after the tour for a traditional carol sing with cheese strata.
Each year the inns take part in the Coats and Toys for Kids drive for children in Maine.
“The coats for kids campaign actually kicks off next weekend in the state on December 5 and 6,” said Barnes, co-owner with her husband, Ken Barnes, of Lindsey House.
“It’s organized by WCSH 6 in Portland and WLBZ 2 in Bangor,” she said. “The Salvation Army does the distribution.”
According to the WCSH 6 Web site, Pratt-Abbott Cleaners of Portland donates the dry-cleaning of all the collected coats.
Last year the drive in Maine brought in 8,350 coats donated on Coats and Toys for Kids Day and 37,000 for the whole winter, according to the WCSH 6 Web site. More than 2,000 toys were gathered on collection day in 2007.
Over the years, Historic Inns of Rockland has collected hundreds of coats, mittens, hats and cash for the annual Coats for Kids campaign, according to a press release.
Michaelsen said tickets also would go on sale now for another Historic Inns event, Pies on Parade, to raise funds for the Area Interfaith Outreach food bank. The event is scheduled for Jan. 25.