City Back-2-School Bash exceeds goal for backpacks

Published 5:11 pm Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Don’t expect a sophomore slump at Citizens Bank Stadium next month.
Planners of the second annual Back-2-School Bash, scheduled to take place Saturday, Aug. 5, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., recently received positive news that their target goal of raising funds for 1,000 backpacks full of school supplies had been surpassed due to the outpouring of support from the community.
When the final totals rolled in, Bekah Price, Elizabethton City Schools public relations coordinator, expressed gratitude for each donation to benefit children within the community.
“I have been blown away by everyone’s generosity for the second year in a row. It speaks volumes that the churches and businesses in a town our size are able to work together to help students start school with the supplies and resources they need,” Price said.
The organizers of the events, East River Park Christian Church, Elizabethton City Schools, Elizabethton Police Department and Carter County Health Department, were able to raise over $20,000 and placed the order for backpacks this week. The 1,000 backpacks are a 25 percent increase compared to last year.
Price added that any excess funds raised will be carried over for next year’s event to cover the cost of school supplies.
Seeing the goal achieved was a bright spot for Lee Hunt, pastor of East River Park Christian Church.
“Our church met with (Director of Schools) Dr. G (Corey Gardenhour) about having an event that was community-driven and helps the needs of the children in our community,” Hunt said. “It was something our church felt greatly to get behind. Last year, our congregation sponsored 236 backpacks and this year, we had enough members step forward to sponsor 351 backpacks.”
Bringing the local churches together was an important step in seeing the project succeed, Hunt added.
“We had some churches that were unable to participate this year, but we had a lot of other steps up,” he said. “The best thing about this is that you see churches of different denominations coming together for the same goal — helping the community. People often hear what churches are against, but events like these show what churches are for. We’re here wanting to help the community.”
Along with providing food and refreshments, East River Park Christian Church helped coordinate with Ingles and Food City, who will be donating food for the event.
The entire community is invited to come out for all the festivities at the event. Along with backpacks, the day will feature inflatables, lunch, live music, obstacle courses, door prizes and over 20 health and education organizations on site. Five hair stylists from Jenny Lea Academy will also be on site to provide free haircuts.
Backpacks will be provided with priority to city children first, with the potential of excess going to others, if needed.
For more information on the event, visit or visit the Back-2-School 2017 Facebook page online. A full list of sponsors is featured on the school’s website.

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