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Back to School Bash brings community together

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  • Back to School Bash brings community together
    A variety of stations were available at last week’s Back to School Bash at the Lakehills Community Center, including the Fun Fair. The event gave students from throughout the county school supplies, backpacks and other essentials to equip them for the c
  • Back to School Bash brings community together
    A variety of stations were available at last week’s Back to School Bash at the Lakehills Community Center, including the Fun Fair. The event gave students from throughout the county school supplies, backpacks and other essentials to equip them for the c

What started as an event about a decade ago to make sure all the county’s students have what they need to start school has since grown to be an integral part of the community: The Back to School Bash.

“This has truly become a community celebration,” said Kelly Beedle, Communications and Back to School Bash Coordinator for Hill Country Samaritans. “We are thrilled to coordinate a platform through which so many are able to show kindness and build relationships with their neighbors across the county in a variety of ways.”

Beedle estimated there were between 1,300 and 1,500 people who attended the event this year, featuring 50 organizations from all over the county on-site to provide supplies, registration support, vaccines, haircuts, crafts, games prizes and even more things like a petting zoo.

“The event has grown a lot since moving to the Lakehills Community Center,” said BISD Superintendent Gary Bitzkie. “People are drawn to the event for many reasons, and when many see people helping others, they want to help. This is one way they can do that.”

The event, which is co-sponsored by BISD and Hill Country Samaritans, had five themed action areas for attendees to enjoy: Wild, Wild West; The Splash Zone; The Carnival; On the Farm; and Back to School Central.

Among the adults and kids at the event were Megan Bendele and her sons, nine-year-old Brantley Kievit and eight-year-old Remington Kievit.

“We really like to come here every year,” said Bendele, who added her children get both backpacks and fun activities from bash.

Volunteers were essential to the event, with 100 assisting on the day of the event and another 50 helping with advance preparations.

Beedle was just about everywhere throughout the event, ensuring things were running smoothly.

“It is Hill Country Samaritans’ great joy to share Jesus’ love and light in this manner,” Beedle said.

Beedle said Saturday’s event featured fairly even attendance from Bandera, Pipe Creek, Lakehills and other areas, but the group’s work is not done.

In the next several days, backpacks and school supplies will be delivered to school-age children of the Arms of Hope/Medina Children’s Home thanks to the donations for the event.

Additionally, in August, the Samaritans will share supplies and backpacks with Utopia iSD students.

Supply packs are also given to Bandera County private schools VIneyard of God, Pipe Creek Christian School and Vanguard.

More information about HIll Country Samaritans is available at www.hillcountrysamaritans.org.

The donors for 2022’s event included:

CarQuest/Bandera Auto Parts

Costco Bandera Auto Solutions

Bandera Auto Solutions

Bandera Bank

Bandera Chapter 643 Order of Eastern Star

Bandera County

Helping Hand Center

Bandera County Republican Women PAC

Bandera Lions Club

BEC Charitable Foundation

True Value Hardware

Coconut Cove

Day 1 Bags

Hazel Homes

HEB

JMAC Septic Service

Kiwanis Community Service Corporation

Lakehills Baptist Church

Lakehills United Methodist Church

Lowe’s Market

M2J Builders

Main Street Tire & Automotive Service

Painting & More

Pipe Creek Presbyterian

Propane Depot Sam’s

Sam’s

Sanctus Ranch Silver Sage

Silver Sage

St Stanislaus Catholic Church

St Victor Chapel

Thrivent

Vincent’s Automotive

TXN Bank

Western Title of Bandera

And other private individuals