The event, which was hosted by the Spalding Collaborative, made sure parents in the community received a free bag of school supplies, filled with pencils, rulers, notebook paper, crayons and many other school essentials. The bash also featured free food, free clothes, live music and a variety of vendors who informed families of the services available to them in the community.
“I was very happy. The crowd was very well-behaved,” said Joseph Walker, executive director of the Spalding Collaborative. “You see people having a good time, and that’s really (important).”
Walker praised the approximately 20 service providers who let the public know about the resources available to them.
“It brings them all together with the same goal, to improve the lives of the people in the community,” he said. “We were hoping to be able to share information on services (people) may need.”
Another crucial part in making the Back to School Bash a success was the work of the Spalding County Youth Advisory Council (YAC), a branch of the Spalding Collaborative. YAC members were taking registration forms from parents and, in exchange, handing them tickets that entitled parents to one of the 1,500 free bags of supplies.
“This is the biggest event of the year for the YAC,” said Patricia Allen, an adult adviser for the YAC.
Although the Back to School Bash attracted many people, Walker said it was difficult to estimate how many actually visited City Park. However, he said that the 2,000 hot dogs offered at the event were all gone by the end of the day.