250 students benefit from Back to School Bash

By Joseph Slacian

About 250 youngsters received backpacks and other needed back-to-school supplies on Saturday morning during the Back to School Bash at the Wabash High School gym.

Sponsored by the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program in conjunction with more than 20 other local programs and organizations, the youngsters received free backpacks filled with supplies based on grade level. They also were able to receive free clothes and free haircuts if needed or wanted.

The Wabash County Health Department was on hand to provide back to school vaccines for those who needed them. In addition, a variety of other community programs and organizations were represented to provide students and parents with a variety of other information on services available to them throughout the school year.

“Everybody is really happy with the way it’s gone, so I’m happy.,” Dee Joy, director of the Wabash County CASA program, told The Paper of Wabash County. “We’ve had some suggestions for next year, of course, but overall it’s been great.”
Most of the free clothes were gone by late morning. Those families who didn’t receive clothing received vouchers to get free clothing at the Lighthouse Mission.

In addition, The Access Youth Center officials planned to pass out more backpacks on Monday evening for those who were able to make it to the Back to School Bash. Agency officials reported all but about 20 backpacks were distributed from their supply on Saturday. They set aside about 100 more backpacks to be distributed Monday.

The public appreciated the event, Joy believes.

“The comments I’ve heard have been pretty positive,” she said. “They thanked us for doing all this. They loved having this in one spot to do everything. They appreciated all the information available, having haircuts and stuff right on site. There’s a lot of positivity.

“Hopefully we can do this again next year and make it grow.”

Posted on 2019 Aug 06