Posted: Sunday, August 12th 2012 at 12:27am
Hundreds attend Back to School Bash in Habersham County
By Rob Moore Editor
More than 1,000 people crowded the Ruby C. Fulbright Aquatic Center in Clarkesville on Saturday for the Back to School Bash. (Photo/Rob Moore)
CLARKESVILLE – More than 1,000 people attended the Back to School Bash, sponsored by the Cornelia and Clarkesville Better Hometown programs, on Saturday.
The event began at 3 p.m. at the Ruby C. Fulbright Aquatic Center in Clarkesville, and offered free swimming, free hearing screenings, school supplies, a bounce house, face painting, games, sheriff’s K-9 demonstration, martial arts demonstrations, reptile exhibits, and more.
The Back to School Bash is a community event coordinated by both the Cornelia and Clarkesville Better Hometown programs. Churches, service organizations, businesses, and volunteers from Habersham County and the surrounding area participated.
One highlight of the event was the opportunity for children to get a free haircut by licensed stylists from around the county. More than 120 had taken advantage of the free haircuts by 5:30 p.m.
“I think it’s been a huge success,” said Clarkesville Better Hometown Manager Mary Beth Horton. “I would definitely say 1,000 plus have come through the doors. It’s overwhelming, but a good kind of overwhelming.”
“I think it definitely exceeded any expectations we had,” said Cornelia Better Hometown Manager Heather Sinyard. “We can only make it better next year. There’s definitely room for improvement. We’ve noticed with this crowd we’ve got to figure out something else, but I think everybody’s had a good time. I’ve not heard anybody complain, and they’re very appreciative of everything that we’ve done.”
More than 500 students who pre-registered received a backpack filled with grade-appropriate school supplies.
“We had about 505 that pre-registered during school before it ended in May,” Sinyard said. “Then we ended up with probably another 50 or so on a waiting list that we were able to fill up until about two weeks ago.”
Students who did not pre-register for a backpack still received items like toothbrushes, combs, composition books, notebook paper, and other school supplies.
“In addition to those backpacks, we had the different vendors come and offer school supplies for folks, and one of the tables had 300 spiral notebooks that were wiped out in about 20 minutes,” Horton said.
The event truly was community-based, the BHT managers stressed.
“Everything today was completely donated: all the supplies – and we’re talking probably $6,000 worth of school supplies,” Sinyard said. “All the haircuts, the ladies have come and done that for free. All the different civic organizations, churches, they’ve brought the supplies, they’ve brought the food, and donated their time and resources.”
Both Horton and Sinyard said the event was about preparing all Habersham County students for the upcoming school year, which begins Aug. 16.
“I think it’s a representation of the entire county, which is exactly what we wanted to do for a community event,” Horton said.
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