Despite an overcast late morning, a long line formed quickly, leading to the tent where 900 free bags of school supplies were handed out to local elementary and middle school students that day.
“I’m thrilled with the turnout. This is our biggest (bash) ever,” said Healthy Youth Committee Chairperson Kelly Leger, adding that some people had arrived as early as 9:30 a.m., with the event starting at 11 a.m.
Saturday’s Back to School Bash was the first in almost 15 years not funded through state grants. Instead, local churches, civic groups and other organizations came worked together to have children not miss out on school supplies, as the new school year starts Aug. 13.
“Every club that supported the event is here with a volunteer,” said Leger. “It’s an amazing community effort.”
Aside from free school supplies, families also had the option of receiving free clothes - in addition to free food and entertainment.
“All the money we received went directly into buying school supplies,” said Spalding Collaborative Executive Director Joseph Walker.
Walker said he is happy that so many showed up for the Back to School Bash.
“It’s a big crowd, but it’s an orderly crowd,” he said. “All of the community came together. That’s really what it’s all about.”