Back-to-School Bash provided 1,500 backpacks to local students

Published 3:31 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2022

By Angela Cutrer
Elizabethton Star
Saturday’s Back-to-School Bash provided area students with 1,300 backpacks full of age-appropriate school supplies, as well as all the food they could eat and fun-filled games for their pleasure.
The event has been a ministry of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church for the last 14 years.
“It went wonderfully,” said Pastor Brandon Young, who has another reason to be excited: He’s the new principal at Valley Forge. “We gave out 1,300 backpacks that day, and there are another 200 ready to be picked up by those who signed up for them.”
Young said he believes about 3,000 people attended the event, held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition to the school supplies, children and their families enjoyed free food, inflatable games, water wars, cotton candy, desserts, a petting zoo, a muscle car exhibition and games.
“We also had two beauticians who donated their time,” Young said. “They cut hair from the beginning of the event to the end, never stopping. Now these young people have a nice haircut, their new backpacks filled with school supplies, some clothes and shoes new to them and a day where they could just have fun.”
Young said of the folks he spoke with, families seemed relieved to have at least one worry off their minds. “They told me the event was most beneficial for them as a family, as it took pressure off having to buy so much to get the kids in school,” he said. “They said it saved them a lot of money that could go toward something else the children and the family might need.
“It’s wonderful to be able to have given these children a good foundation to start the school year.”

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