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"You all just have no idea what this event means to me," a parent said Saturday at the annual Back to School Bash.

"We are new to the district and I just didn't know how I was going to make it all happen. Haircuts were on my list but I just didn't know how or where or when it would happen," the mother of four young students said as she and the volunteer to whom she was speaking hugged and cried.

That sentiment was shared again and again as parents received school supplies, clothing, haircuts and encouragement from the many volunteers who contribute to the annual event hosted by Bright Futures. This was the sixth year for Bright Futures to host the event.

The annual Back to School Bash served more than 270 children this year, according to Misty Harris, Bright Futures coordinator.

"We were able to serve almost 300 students this year. This would not have been possible without the incredible support of the Pea Ridge community," Harris said. "We are so appreciative of all the volunteers and donations that made this year's Back to School bash a success."

"It was a fabulous event," school superintendent Rick Neal said, adding that he wanted to thank Chelle Tillman, B.J. Dye, teachers, staff and members of First Baptist Church for the many hours of work involved in hosting the event.

Many volunteers, including school employees, students and officials, worked the event Saturday, Aug. 3, in the gym at First Baptist Church.

"This will have been our third year collaborating with Bright Futures and the First Baptist Church of Pea Ridge for the Back to School Bash event," Alex Wright, director of the Pea Ridge Community Library, said. "It is a highly anticipated event for us and we relish in the opportunity to give back to our great community though literacy."

Library clerk Mary Maness and Friend of the Library member Rebecca Tillman spent the morning giving away free books that were collected from the community. They also gave out materials informing individuals of the vast activities and amenities the library provides, Wright said, adding, "This year children were able to sign up for a raffle drawing for one of three prizes: a Kindle, a $10 Fast Lanes pass, and two $5 Lokomotion passes."

Members of the Pea Ridge Volunteer Fire Department visited with children, let them climb on the firetruck and gave them ice cream at the Back 2 School Bash. Assisting were Corey Lawson, Michael Culotta, Benjamin Osowiechi and Alex Blevins and Chief Jack Wassman.

Community on 08/07/2019

Print Headline: Volunteers, firefighters bless families, students

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