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Back to School Bash Biggest Since '06

Backpacks, medical screenings and more were given away to needy families.

The organizers and volunteers involved in this year’s had no doubt it was the biggest since it began in 2006.

Now the numbers are in to prove it.

  • At , 1,608 backpacks were given away, with distributing 1,116. gave out the remaining 272 to bring the grand total to 2,996.
  • Medical screenings: 1,103, with the breakdown as follows: 180 dental, 295 vision, 293 hearing and 335 scoliosis.
  • Clothes: 16,000-plus items, or 430 39-gallon bags.
  • Shoes: 300 from Soles4Souls and an extra 300-plus flip flops.
  • Socks and undies: 10,861
  • Haircuts: 346, with 27 Locks of Love donations
  • Food served: 1,700 hot dogs, 133 pizzas, 750 boxed lunches ( or ) and 100 chicken sandwiches (Chick-fil-A)
  • Bibles: 1,724 from the Gideons
  • Children’s books: 4,300
  • Stuffed animals: 1,200
  • Volunteers: 500
  • Churches: 35

“Thanks to everyone who had a part – big or small,” said Cheryl Ruffer, co-founder and co-director. “God is faithful each year, blessing us with a smooth event at each location. We give Him all the credit and glory!”

Editor's note: A version of this story previously appeared in the August online edition of The Cherokee Vine, a monthly newsletter that highlights news and events from churches, ministries and charitable organizations in Cherokee County.

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