Local cleaner makes coat program a success
October 23, 2002
During the last 14 years, Mark Frady has kept nearly 10,000 people warm during the bitter chill of Carson City winters.
Frady, who owns Mercury Cleaners on Curry Street, donates his time and services to clean and repair coats for Friends in Service Helping and for Carson City schools.
“We all need to take responsibility for helping the community,” he said. “The community gives to us and it’s our way of giving back.”
He began working with FISH 14 years ago, then in 1997 joined with Kim Riggs, homeless advocate for the school district, to provide coats for students in need.
“There’s a need in the community there for the kids to have a coat,” Frady said. “We don’t want them out there freezing.”
Although Riggs said she receives generous donations each year, including 101 this year from St. Teresa of Avila School, the program would not be possible without Frady’s help.
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“You can’t give a child a dirty jacket or one with a broken zipper,” Riggs said. “They have enough pressures without having to deal with that, too.”
Riggs estimates Frady cleans and repairs about 700 coats for her program each year at no cost.
“I’m sure he loses business because they take up so much room, but we’re so grateful,” Riggs said. “He’s an amazing man.”
But Frady said the cost balances with the rewards.
“If we didn’t think it was worth it, we wouldn’t do it,” Frady said. “We never get to see the kids but we don’t need to. We know that there are kids out there who are absolutely thrilled to get a coat.”
He also cleans all the costumes for the Western Nevada Theater Co.
Frady moved to Carson City in 1970 and raised his two daughters and one son here. From 1975 to 1980, he taught German at the high school.
He learned the language while serving four years in the military in Germany. After his military service ended, he remained four more years while working as a truck driver and driving all over Europe.
In February, he and his wife, Carla, will celebrate 25 years of marriage. The two teach a marriage class at Fountainhead Four Square Church.
Winter coats are available in the nurse’s office of each elementary school if a child needs one.
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