The St. Francois County Back to School Fair Saturday helped close to 500 students get prepared for another fast approaching school year.
“It went so smooth this year,” Tami Pyatt, Young Faith in Christ mentor coordinator, said. “We didn’t have any glitches and people were moving quickly from one table to the next.”
This year’s fair used the space of the Mineral Area College Field House to have students and parents travel from station to station picking up items needed for school.
“It’s been a really good day,” Tiffany Bone, who was there with her husband and their four children. “It really helps out a lot.”
The back to school fair, which was sponsored by the YFC, supplied students with a backpack, school supplies, a free book, two shirts and a $10 gift card toward the purchase of a new pair of school shoes.
“We helped out just under 500 kids today,” Pyatt said. “A lot of these kids are getting help and the things they need for school, but we wouldn’t have been able to do this if it wasn’t for the community coming together and donating items and time to help.”
As school aged children and parents meandered through, they were also treated to music, games, hot dogs and milkshakes. For most of the families participating, they agreed the atmosphere made the event much more fun for them and their children.
“I think it’s amazing what they are doing here,” Wilma Vance, the mother of a third grader, said. “The kids are having so much fun, and when they have fun, mom has fun.”
For some parents who have attended previous fairs, this year was run much better than in the past.
“This year is so much better than it was last year,” Wendy Boyer, a mother of three, said. “Last year you had to wait in long lines and it was so hot. What made things worse was I was pregnant. But this year is great, I haven’t had to wait at all.”
The fair seemed to bring out the best in everyone. Besides families receiving the help they needed, the volunteers seemed to be just as happy to give a book or school supplies as those who were receiving.
“We enjoy it every year,” June Forrester, president of the VFW Post 5741 Women’s Auxiliary. “These kids just melt. They say thank you, knowing they are going to start school just like everyone else.”
For information or to make a donation contact Young Faith in Christ at 573-747-1705.
Craig Vaughn is a reporter at the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-756-8927 or at firstname.lastname@example.org