Every year, the Richmond Teen Center holds a Back to School Bash for the residents of Madison County, not only to celebrate the end of summer, but the beginning of a new school year.

Last year, Georgia Parks, Richmond Teen Center director, was able to hand out more than 700 backpacks full of notebooks, pencils and other goodies. But it was only made possible by community members' contributions. Local businesses help contribute not only monetarily, but also provide their time and services to the once a year bash. Donations are preferred by July 29, however, Parks said that every bit helps and contributions will be accepted up until a few days before the event.

Currently needed are basic school items, such as backpacks/sacks, notebooks, pencils, crayons, markers, colored pencils, glue, scissors, tablets, folders, filler paper, comprehension notebooks, Kleenex, paper towels, hand sanitizer, calculators, binders and other school items.

Before the bash, Parks and a handful of volunteers will form an assembly line to start packing backpacks full of school supplies. Anyone is welcome to come help, but Parks asks they contact her before packing day.

The bash, which will be held on Aug. 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. relies solely on the hard work of Parks and her team of helpers to get everything donated. Community members can also donate other items that will be raffled off during the bash.

Residents can look forward to an afternoon of free food, free haircuts, inflatables, games, a live DJ, vendor tables and more. Members of the Richmond Police Department will be there and the Richmond Fire Department will be stopping by with one of their trucks to hose kids down.

For more information about how to get involved, or to donate items, contact Parks at 859-248-0622 or email gparks@richmond.ky.us

Reach Kaitlyn Brooks at 624-6608; follow her on Twitter @kaitlynsbrooks.

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