Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Jul 3, 2013 in News |

Local & State Politicians Scheduled to Attend 14th Annual BIG Back Pack Event

Local & State Politicians Scheduled to Attend 14th Annual  BIG Back Pack Event

Governor Rick Scott and Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto are among some politicians who will be distributing backpacks to students in need

Leonardo Garcia, Founder of the Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida is proud to announce the support of local and state politicians for this year’s 14th Annual BIG Backpack Event. Governor Rick Scott and State Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto confirmed their attendance at this year’s event to be held at Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers on Sunday, July 21, 2013 from 11:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m. Other politicians that have stepped up to help local students in need include State Rep Heather Fitzenhagen and Mayor Randy Henderson. Presented by the Multicultural Centre of SW Florida, Inc., this event has served over 30,000 needy school students in SW Florida for the past 14 years.

Governor Scott and Senator Benacquisto will be distributing backpacks to children at the event. State Rep Heather Fitzenhagen who attended last year, is unable to attend this year’s event, but will be donating an iPad Mini and a $100 Target gift card to help with the costs of back-to-school clothes and supplies. A Golden Ticket will be randomly placed in one of the 2,000 backpacks and one lucky winner will receive these donated items thanks to Sate Rep Fitzenhagen’s contributions.

 Fitzenhagen, who advocates for the education of our local students in Tallahassee, says, “Regretfully, I am unable to attend this year’s event, but will be there in spirit, and would like to do what I can to make sure students are ready to go back to school with confidence and pride,” She adds, “I am happy to donate an iPad Mini and $100 Target card to one lucky student in attendance at this year’s event.”

The Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida will present the 14th Annual Big Backpack Event to celebrate back-to-school and diversity in our community. The event lends a helping hand to students and families in need, as well as, celebrates the diversity in Southwest Florida with live multicultural entertainment on the main stage including Irish step dance, salsa and more.

“We are so very appreciative of the support we receive from local businesses and individuals who partner with us each year to support students and families in need,” says Leonardo Garcia, co-founder of the Multicultural Centre of SWFL. He adds, “Thanks to the support of sponsors and our dedicated event committee, we hope to help more than 2,000 students with their back-to-school needs again this year.”

The event draws an estimated crowd of 15,000 people each year. Although the event begins at 11 a.m., the line begins to form around Harborside Event Center as early at 7 a.m. The first 2,000 students ages 5-12 will receive free backpacks and school supplies. Parents or guardians must bring their school age children in order to receive the free supplies. Thanks to sponsors and vendors, students may also receive eye exams, haircuts, and other fun giveaways at the event while supplies last. Families will enjoy other event festivities such as face painting, inflatable slide & bounce house, clowns, and live entertainment.

Sponsors for this year’s event includes Walmart, Harborside Event Center, City of Fort Myers, Lee County Public School Principals, Pendas Law Firm, Jason’s Deli, CONRIC PR & Marketing, Fuller online Solutions, Univision, D’Latinos, Nuevos Ecos, Lee Family News, News-Press Media Group, Beasley Broadcasting, Azteca America, and HABA.

Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida

The Multicultural Centre is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization established in Fort Myers with the purpose of promoting programs aimed at bringing people of different cultures together and of culturally linking Southwest Florida with other communities around the world. For more information visit