Backpack bonanza returns to normal

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The Backpack Bonanza is back and better than ever. The Board of Evangelism at Immanuel Lutheran Church and School in Perryville will host the annual event on Saturday, July 31 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Immanuel Lutheran School gymnasium.
The event will return to its original format after being a drive-through event last year.
Event chair Amy Yamnitz said that it will be nice to have a sense of normalcy back this year.
“We are back to full service and full activities this year,” Yamnitz said. “It feels really good to get back to normal and provide all the extras.”
The event supplies qualifying Perry County students in grades K-12 with backpacks full of school supplies to ready them for the new school year. It is the board’s goal to supply at least 250 Perry County children with school supplies, haircuts, health checks and other services.
A large portion of support with supplies comes from local businesses and individuals with monetary donations and supplies.
“Businesses, as well as generous individuals, numerous volunteers, and local churches, provide tremendous help in supplementing our grant from the Youth Tax Board to make this event successful year after year.” Yamnitz said. “Our hope is that beginning the new school year with needed supplies, new shoes and a new haircut will provide the students with a positive attitude and inspire them to be successful in the classroom. We also feel that this outreach will lessen the financial burden that families will have to endure to send their children back to school.”
The East Missouri Action Agency ran the event for many years before it was taken over by Immanuel Lutheran, but the EMAA still helps with the event.
Qualifying families wishing to participate must register their students for the Backpack Bonanza with the East Missouri Action Agency by calling 547-2014.
The EMAA is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8a.m. to 5 p.m.
The deadline to sign up is Friday, July 16.
“Families must have an appointment to attend,” Yamintz said. “It is still required as in past years. There will be no walk-up appointments for the event.”
However, the event goes, Yamnitz is excited to provide this service to the students of the community.
“Donations are still coming in and the community has always been generous and we are very happy to be back to normal,” Yamnitz said.

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