With colder weather coming down the pike in the next few weeks, members of the Marshall Elks Lodge on Monday found a sweet way to make sure East Texans in need stay warm this winter.

The Marshall Elks Lodge hosted a Christmas Cookie Decorating party fundraiser Monday evening where participants not only learned how to decorate a cookie like a pro, but they also raised money for the Elks’ annual Coats For Kids program.

Longview baker Jaime Rinehart, who owns Cherry Tart Designs, https://www.facebook.com/CherryTartDesigns/, was on hand Monday to teach participants the easiest and most festive looking ways to decorate their Christmas cookies.

The lodge’s Coats For Kids program collects gently used and new coats of all sizes to not only give out for free to children in need, but to adults as well.

Marshall Elks Lodge member and current Vice President for Texas Elks Northeast District Renea Oswalt said on Monday that the lodge currently is in need of new or gently used coats in small children’s sizes specifically, though they will take coats of all sizes.

“Anyone in need of a free coat can come by the lodge any day after 4 p.m.,” she said. “Also, anyone needing to drop off a coat may do so at the lodge’s drop off box out front or after 4 p.m. any day. B & C Cleaners is also helping us again this year and people can drop off coats there as well.”

Once the lodge receives a donated coat, they have it cleaned before giving it to someone in need.

Next up, the lodge will host its monthly Veterans and First Responders Appreciation breakfast from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the third Saturday of every month. All veterans and first responders, as well as their spouses, are invited to enjoy a free, hot breakfast cooked by lodge members. Other guests can make a donation for the breakfast.

In the new year, the Elks will host its annual Hoop Shoot event on Jan. 11 at the Boys & Girls Club of the Big Pines in Marshall for children ages 8 to 13 years old.

For more information, visit the Elks Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/marshallelks.lodge/