ECS: 2,000 attend 3rd annual Back-2-School Bash

Published 3:49 pm Monday, August 6, 2018

For the second weekend in a row, families from Elizabethton and Carter County were able to get a quick head start to the school year.

Citizens Bank Stadium was a popular destination Saturday morning during the third annual Back-2-School Bash. Elizabethton City Schools, Elizabethton Police Department, Carter County Health Department and East River Park Christian Church joined together for a third consecutive year to provide roughly 1,000 backpacks to city and county school children, along with providing family friendly entertainment for the 2,000 in attendance.

This year’s event varied from others with the school system being able to provide backpacks to city school students, along with others throughout the region. Event organizers also provided drawstring bags for the youngest of attendees for their experience heading into preschool.

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“This year our goal was to meet the needs of all students that came instead of just Elizabethton City School students,” Deputy Director of Schools Myra Newman recently told the Elizabethton Star. “We are truly focused on all students.”

School officials added that not all bags were distributed. Organizers for the event were going to count up the leftover amount Monday afternoon with estimates indicating the event was able to distribute around 800 Saturday morning.

To go along with the school supplies’ aspect of the event, over 30 community partners were able to set up shop inside the stadium to provide valuable resources for students and families, ranging from free haircuts, school information and activities for children on the field. Approximately 200 volunteers provided a helping hand during the day. Teachers and principals from schools were also on hand to give out information to incoming students as they prepare for their first day of school.

“It was the third year for the Back-2-School Bash, and it seems like it gets better every year,” said Bekah Price, ECS public relations coordinator and planning team member. “We hope it helped get everyone prepared and excited for school. Every year, we are amazed at how many new sponsors, partners and volunteers we have asking how they can be involved and coming up with creative new ideas. Above all, we hope our students leave feeling loved and surrounded by a community that supports them.” Price added the school system thanks East River Park Christian Church, Elizabethton Police Department and the health department for the continual partnership of the event.

For the past three years, community partners have worked with the B2SB planners to make sure all aspects of the event are ready to go for the public. Roughly $15,000-$20,000 in donations make the event possible, according to school officials. The primary use of sponsorships is to make sure all backpacks are available for pickup by families, and be properly equipped with school supplies for a student. Each business, organization or church is able to sponsor the event and pegged into one of three categories depending on the amount of funding that was provided leading up to the event.

2018 Gold sponsors include: East River Park Christian Church, Calvary Baptist Church, WBEJ Radio, Johnson City Press, Chick-fil-A, Carter County Farm Bureau, Carter County Men’s Fellowship and Academy Sports. Silver sponsors are Aaron’s and Jenny Lea Academy. Bronze sponsors include: Southside Christian Church, Immanuel Baptist Church, Cato Fashions, Snap-On Tools, Elizabethton Star, Burgie Drug, Elizabethton Lions Club, Alexander Insurance Agency and Shoe Sensation.