The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

June 10, 2014

Plans under way for Starting Fresh Back 2 School Event

By STACY MILLBERG
Star Beacon

JEFFERSON — Last year several local groups and organizations joined forces to offer a community-wide event that provided area children with basic school supplies before the new school year.

The Partnership for a Revolution was formed to help local students and their families get a decent start to school.

Planning is underway for the second annual event, which is being coined Starting Fresh Back 2 School Event. This year’s event is planned for Aug. 16 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Ashtabula County Fairgrounds.

The event received such an overwhelming response last year, that the main focus this year has been trying to collect more items so more people can be served.

“Last year we had about 3,000 people and could only meet the needs of 1,000,” said Jennifer Meivogel, one of the co-founders of the event.

Kathryn Whittington, event co-founder, said volunteers are just trying to expand on what the group did last year so more people can be reached this year.

The set-up will be a bit different this year as the gates will not open until noon. Whittington said last year people were lined up beginning at 8 a.m. They are trying to prevent that from happening this year.

“There’s no point at getting there at 8 a.m. because they won’t be able to get in until noon,” she said.

Parking will also be across the street in the fairgrounds parking lot rather than inside the fairgrounds.

Many of the same groups and organizations will be participating this year and some new ones have jumped on board, Whittington said.

The event will feature free haircuts, shoes, hygiene products, school supplies, fresh produce, and socks and underwear. Lunch will also be provided as well as entertainment and activities throughout the event.

Students from kindergarten through high school are eligible to receive supplies regardless of income.

Ashtabula County Children Services, Signature Health, Ashtabula County Head Start, Homesafe, Gateway Church, Goodwill, Kids Only Daycare, Ashtabula City Health Department, Plymouth United Methodist Church, Ashtabula County Health Department, Salvation Army, and Country Neighbor, among others are all participating in this year’s event.

Coordinators are still looking for volunteers to help out at the event, especially hair stylists who are interested in volunteering a few hours of their day to provide free haircuts. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Whittington at 440-998-1811 or Katie Lane at 440-813-2612.

Partnership for a Revolution will also be hosting a bake sale fundraiser at Applebee’s on June 18.