Children in Immokalee can end this school year knowing they’ll have the tools they need to learn and succeed next year. The Lipman 5K Run for Backpacks raised a record amount of over $45,000 on May 11 to support the upcoming Lipman Family Farms Backpack Giveaway, enabling more children to receive the school supplies and other tools they need to flourish.
“We’re thrilled to see this event grow and make such a difference for kids in our community,” said Jaime Weisinger, Director of Community Relations for Lipman Family Farms, America’s largest open-field tomato grower. “We’re so grateful to everyone who turned out for the race.”
Nearly 400 people participated in either the 5K or the companion 1-mile walk, also a record for the event, which is in its fifth year. Still others sent their support through donations that will all fund the backpack giveaway taking place on Aug. 3 at Immokalee High School.
Last year, the giveaway provided more than 1,500 backpacks full of school supplies, 200 bicycles, $3,000 in clothing store gift cards and 100 children’s haircuts. This year, those numbers will be even larger.
“The need is great in this community, but the spirit of generosity is even greater,” Weisinger said. “Everyone who ran, walked, donated or sponsored should know they will make a real difference in children’s lives.”
The Collier County Sheriff’s Office provided an assist, blocking off roads along the race route. The agency is also a supporter of the backpack giveaway, stuffing bags and setting up a rock-climbing wall to help entertain children during last year’s event. Several other community organizations are involved to create a fun, family-friendly atmosphere with giveaways, food, music and more.
Visit facebook.com/LipmanFamilyFarms or call 239-657-4421 to learn about sponsorship and volunteer opportunities for this year’s giveaway.