Parents and children in need don’t have to spend summer worrying about how they can afford next year’s school supplies. Families are invited to The Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida’s 20th Annual Big Backpack Event on Sunday, July 28, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Fort Myers Skatium on 2250 Broadway.
The Multicultural Centre will hand out 2,000 new backpacks full of items like notebook paper, folders, crayons, glue, pens and pencils thanks to the generosity of community and business sponsors. The event will also include free haircuts, face painting and youth entertainment. Neal Communities has once again stepped up to become the title sponsor for the 4th year in a row, providing volunteers and donations from its vendors and communities, which help us serve these 2,000 students. Other key sponsors are WINK, The News-Press, the City of Fort Myers, Lee County Family News, CONRIC PR & Marketing, HABA, Todos Magazine, Mission BBQ, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the Fort Myers Police Department.
“Every kid deserves a chance to start school with the basic tools they need for success,” said Leonardo Garcia, executive director of the Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida. “We’re dedicated to making that a reality for as many children as possible.”
Last year’s Big Backpack Event drew more than 8,000 people, so the Multicultural Centre is urging parents and guardians to get to the Skatium early. Lines have begun to form as early as 7 a.m. in previous years, though they typically move quickly once the doors open. The first 2,000 children ages 5 to 12 who are accompanied by parents or guardians will receive the backpacks and school supplies.
“After 20 years, our dedicated volunteers have this down to a science,” Garcia said. “It’s amazing to see so many people working together to make a difference.”