Betsy Bash: Thousands attend 2nd annual Back-2-School event

Published 4:18 pm Monday, August 7, 2017

Saturday served as a prime example of what can be accomplished when a community comes together.
Capitalizing off last year’s inaugural event, the Elizabethton City Schools’ Back-2-School Bash went off without a hitch over the weekend at Citizens Bank Stadium. Saturday’s event was organized by the school district, the Carter County Health Department, East River Park Christian Church and the Elizabethton Police Department.
Thousands descended upon the facility to take part in the various activities available, including two obstacle courses, 10 inflatables, food and refreshments.
Approximately 30 community partners also set up shop around the stadium but the biggest joy was the ability to provide 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to children, according to Elizabethton City Schools Public Relations Coordinator Bekah Price.
“One of the best things about this event is that the community helped fundraise $20,000 and that helped us buy 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies for children,” Price said Saturday.
Involvement was leaps and bounds above last year’s event, according to Lee Hunt, pastor of East River Park Christian Church. East River Park was one of the top sponsors for the event and helped manned the backpack and concession booths Saturday.
“There was definitely a lot more involvement this year compared to last year,” Hunt said. “It is better organized and a lot more sponsors stepped forward, so we were able to increase the amount of backpacks we would could give out. Thanks to them, we were able to open up the distribution to county children, too.”
Over 50 sponsors stepped up to the plate to make Saturday a reality. The top sponsors for the event include East River Park Christian Church, Calvary Baptist Church, Academy Sports, Southside Christian Church, Immanuel Baptist Church, Johnson City Press, Sycamore Shoals and the Elizabethton Police Department.
Appreciation of the support was shared by both Hunt and Price.
“We just want to thank everyone that helped make this possible,” Price said. “It’s great to see the kids and families having such a great time today.”
With a big head of momentum heading into next summer, Hunt added organizers will hit the ground running to prepare for the next installment.
“We’ll start planning next week,” Hunt said with a laugh. “We’re just excited to see the community come together for this type of event that really makes a difference in the lives of our local children.”
Elizabethton City Schools start back August 10 with a half day. The first full day of school starts August 14.

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