ENGLEWOOD — It’s back-to-school time, and the Englewood YMCA is making sure students of all ages come well-prepared.
The Y, located at 701 Medical Blvd., will play host to its Back to School Bash from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s a great feeling to help the kids in the community to help get them started for the school year,” said Marcia Ziegler, membership director for the Englewood YMCA.
Area churches and medical professionals are volunteering to provide resources needed for students to be prepared for the school year. A total of 500 backpacks with age-appropriate school supplies have been donated.
Patty Tuff, programs and children’s director at Englewood United Methodist Church, organized finances for the event. Funding has been provided by the Englewood Y, Kids’ Needs of Englewood and area churches.
“We provided some provisions for the event,” Tuff said. “It’s been easier to organize with each year. We’ve been meeting monthly since April.”
Tuff said the biggest problem this year was accommodating the higher cost of school supplies, which were provided by Suncoast Church.
“We still have commitments coming in, and we’re making sure (funding) is fulfilled,” Tuff said. “The process (we have) works because we all work as a team.”
Ziegler said the Rotary Youth Foundation sent a check to help cover the leftover difference for backpacks and supplies.
Medical professionals and hairdressers from Englewood are set to provide a variety of free services.
“We’re going to have two doctors, a nurse practitioner, a physician’s assistant,” said Kathy Nelson, parish nurse at Suncoast Worship Center, who’s coordinating medical volunteers. “We’ll have a dentist doing dental screenings. We’ll have five registered nurses from area churches who will be helping.”
Nelson enlisted seven hairdressers from local beauty shops to help provide hair care.
“Inside the gym, we will have registration, (backpacks) and school supplies,” Nelson said. “Examinations will be in the game room. We have someone doing vision and hearing screenings. Haircuts are inside. The aerobics room will be Kids’ Needs. Outside will be food and games.”
Nelson said the event will be helpful, especially for families experiencing hard times.
“The economy hasn’t gotten much better, especially when you have more than one child,” she said.
For more information, visit http://www.swflymca.org , or call 941-474-5045 or 941-475-1234.