The Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida is pleased to present the 16th Annual Big Backpack Event on Sunday, August 2, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m at Harborside Event Center. The first 2,000 students ages 5-12 will receive free backpacks and school supplies at this annual back-to-school outreach event. Supplies include notebook paper, folders, crayons, glue, pencils, and pens. School age children must attend the event with their parent or guardian in order to receive the free supplies, and there is no cost to attend. Students in attendance may also receive free back-to-school haircuts, and other giveaways at the event thanks to the generosity of local business owners, sponsors and vendors. Face painting, fun activities and games will also be available.
This annual event has become the largest back-to-school outreach program in Lee County. Last year an estimated 15,000 people attended the event. Thousands of kids received free backpacks and school supplies thanks to the support of the many volunteers and sponsors. This year sponsors include WINK TV, MundoFox, Associates in Cosmetic Surgery, Beasley Media Group, City of Fort Myers, Fuller Online Solutions, CONRIC PR & Marketing, Hispanic American Business Alliance, Harborside Event Center, Imagen Semanal, Jason’s Deli, Kearns Restaurant Group, Lee County Family News, News-Press Media Group, Rotary Club of Fort Myers South, The Contorno Group/UBS Wealth Management, BB&T, The School District of Lee County and Univision.
For the past 15 years the Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida has been hosting this popular community outreach event that to date has provided new backpacks and school supplies to 35,000 students. The event lends a helping hand to students and families in need while celebrating diversity in Southwest Florida by bringing live multicultural entertainment to the stage including Irish step dance, salsa and more.
Due to the long lines that started to form around Harborside Event Center as early as 7 a.m. in years past, organizers will open the doors to start the event at 10 a.m. this year.
For more information on the 16th Annual Big Backpack Event, please go to www.multiculturalcentre.org.
Connie Ramos-Williams, spokesperson for the Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida and the BIG Backpack Event, said, “Although unemployment numbers are down and most of Southwest Florida is back to work, there are still many families struggling to feed, clothe and provide school supplies to their kids. In fact more than 70% of the students in Lee County public schools qualify for free and reduced school lunch based on income levels. Providing new backpacks and school supplies to these students helps them to start the first day of school with confidence and pride- something all students should have.”
Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida
The Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida 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 culturally linking Southwest Florida with other communities around the world. For more information visit www.multiculturalcentre.org.