Back to School Bash provides fun and helps students with school supplies

Published 2:51 pm Friday, August 4, 2023

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By Danielle Morin
Star Correspondent
 Kids across the tri-cities are heading back to school for the 2023-2024 school year, but not before enjoying a day of festivities at Hampton High School’s football field. Carter County hosted its 16th annual Back to School Bash last week. The free event, which took place on July 29th, catered to roughly 4,000 attendees, all with the aim of providing community resources to students and families in need.
  Families enjoyed a plethora of fair foods and numerous attractions including inflatables, hay rides, water balloon fights, a petting zoo, face painting, and even back to school haircuts from Johnson City’s Premier Cosmetology Academy. In addition to the attractions, each child in attendance walked away with a free backpack filled with school supplies.
Although the event is funded and hosted in Carter County, Coordinator Brandon Young says any and all students are welcomed each year. “We won’t turn anyone away,” he explained, noting that this year’s event even saw students from North Carolina and Florida.
  Young said the entire event is fundraised, allowing all participants to enjoy all the games and food they want at no cost. And how do they do it? “Just reaching out in the community and asking,” said Young, explaining that dozens of churches, businesses, and community members donate each year to make the event possible.
   “We fundraise every year. So as soon as this event ends, we’ll start planning next year’s and fundraising. It takes between $25-30,000 depending on how many supplies we buy,” Young said, citing the enormous impact and generosity he sees reflected each year through the community’s focus on outreach – something he feels sets Carter County apart.
  “This year’s [theme] is better together,” Young went on to explain. “We can do more when we work together and that’s what this shows. When we as a community set our own differences aside and say ‘We want to help kids, and we want to invest in their lives, and we’re going to all come together to do this,’ this is what happens.”

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