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4,000 At-Risk Kids Get School Ready

An army of volunteers stepped up to make sure 4,000 at-risk kids are ready for the first day of school August 13th.  Haircuts. New shoes. Backpacks. Health checks.

Spirit of Giving’s 10th annual Back to School Bash welcomed the students and their families. The bash was located at the Village Academy in Delray Beach on Saturday morning August 4th.

Come along on their walk through the Bash.  Let’s see what the children saw and meet some of the dedicated volunteers who help out every year.

  • Long tables outside were filled with kids making planters. “They’re having fun,” said Delray Beach Home Depot volunteer Kristi Reid.
  • Kids stopped to toss a football at an inflatable game set up by Spirit of Giving’s partner, the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl. “To see these kids come out with their backpacks and new shoes, it’s a million smiles,” said Doug Mosley, executive director of the ESPN televised game on Dec. 18 at Florida Atlantic University Stadium.
  • Kids took their pick of a free backpack and filled it with free school supplies for their grade, from glue sticks to Crayons and binders piled high on tables in the gym. Shopping with Boca volunteer Jackie Reeves was Aniyan, 7, going into second grade at Whispering Pines Elementary School in West Boca.
  • White sneakers were 5-year-old Amara Mercade’s pick, shoe-shopping with Boca volunteer Roxana Scaffidi.
  • On stage, piles of shirts were held up against kids looking for their right size by Junior League of Boca Raton volunteers.
  • Tables with books attracted children and parents along hallways leading to haircuts and health checks.
  • Eight Boca Beauty Academy students used their shears to cut hair on boys and girls. “We did 75 children last year,” said longtime Bash volunteer Toby Nathanson.
  • Snacks like popcorn and ice cream greeted parents and kids in their final stop in the cafeteria. The Family Health Carnival was sponsored by Boca Raton Regional Hospital. “We screen the parents while the kids are shopping and the parents bring the kids back for snacks,” said Jan Dymtrow, who does community outreach for the hospital.
  • On stage were, checks for blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and other medical tests. Dr. Henry Haire in a white lab coat brought five residents from the medical school at Florida Atlantic University.
By Marci Shatzman
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