TORONTO - The Methodist Ladies organization at Riverview United Methodist Church is hosting a back-to-school event Aug. 11 at the church, 105 N. River Ave., that will include free backpacks, school supplies, games, food and more.
The event, which will run from noon to 3 p.m., is an extension of the organization's annual backpack and school supplies project, according to Heather Allison, event co-organizer.
"The Methodist Ladies have been raising funds for backpacks," said Allison, adding the backpacks will be distributed during the event. "The backpacks will include school supplies. We'll also be giving away free clothes as well."
The event also will include free school children's pictures courtesy of uPrint Photography, Allison added.
"We will have all kinds of entertainment," Allison continued, adding a disc jockey will be there pumping out tunes, while hot dogs on the grill will be served. "We'll also have inflatable games. There's a magician coming. He's going to do magic and balloons and give away Sno cones and cotton candy."
Allison said Brenda Cich, chairman of the Focus in Toronto organization, has loaned the use of the organization's tents for the day in anticipation of inclement weather. Allison also said the backpacks will be given away until supplies are exhausted.
This is the fourth year for the church's backpack project, and the women of the Toronto First Presbyterian Church have expressed an interest in helping with the project, according to organizers.
It takes approximately $20 to purchase a backpack and fill it with school supplies for one child. Last year, 77 bags were purchased and filled with required school supplies for pupils in grades kindergarten through 12.
Congregational donations can be placed in the offertory plate during regular Sunday church services from now until Aug. 12. Allison said the idea is to reach those in the community who may need assistance with back-to-school expenses for their children.
"This is a community outreach that kids will benefit from," she said. "It's just a chance to have a good time for the families and also give back to the community."
Any organization or individual wishing to participate in the backpack project can send a donation to Riverview United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 348, Toronto, OH 43964, or drop off donations at the church office Monday through Thursday mornings.
For information on the back-to-school event, call (740) 537-2210 or (740) 317-6464.
(Miller can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)