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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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300 Free Backpacks Given Away At Back To School Kick-Off

300 Free Backpacks Given Away At Back To School Kick-Off

by James Coulter

School is right around the corner, and children now more than ever need to prepare themselves for what comes next, whether it’s a big test or COVID-19.

Fortunately, nearly 300 local students will be able to go to school with a new backpack after receiving one at the Back To School Kick-Off at Visit Central Florida on Saturday.


Children and their families were able to receive backpacks and other school supplies during the annual back to school event last weekend at the Visit Central Florida Visitor Center in Davenport.

Nearly 300 free backpacks were distributed to the first 300 children who arrived with their guardians at the center that morning. Other school supplies and free goodies were also provided by vendors from local businesses and organizations.


American Care attended to offer children free notebooks while informing senior citizens, especially Medicare recipients, about their healthcare services. Their organization has been attending several events at the visitor center. They care about the community, and they want to help give back however they can, explained volunteer Ken Vill.

As for this weekend’s event, it provided “great weather, great people, [and] great turnaround,” Vill said. “It feels good to give back to the community.”

i9 Sports, a local recreational center, knows from first-hand experience the importance of providing children with a fun and educational experience. Their organization hosts events every weekend to teach children about sports like basketball, soccer, and flag football.

i9 Sports has attended events at the visitor center such as this. They appreciate being able to help local children, especially during unprecedented times like these, said volunteer Lourdy Kelsey.

“We think this is great,” she said. “It [allows parents] to do something with their kids to see what is out there…We hope that kids and their families remain safe while also being able to enjoy the school year.”

Chris Budde, an associate of Cypress Gardens Water Ski Team, attended to provide index cards from Webb’s Candy and colored pencils from her team. One of the staff members at the visitor center also helps with marketing with the ski team, so partnering with them for this event was a no-brainer for them.

“I think it is wonderful,” she said. “People have not been able to do enough in the last five months, and they had a great turnout today.”

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