Backpack Bash collects supplies for students in Mt. Vernon, IL

MT. VERNON, IL (KFVS) - Kids are getting ready to go back to school and the United Way Women's Leadership Council is helping out.

The Backpack Bash was held on Tuesday, July 1 to help middle and high school students get backpacks.

The even lasted from 5-7 p.m. at the Rare Chop House in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.

In partnership with Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor Tim Warner, the event encouraged donors who bring a backpack suitable for students. Donors received free appetizers and a free drink ticket.

"We've noticed that we don't receive many backpacks for older students from our Stuff the Bus school supply drive," said Jen Miller, executive director of United Way of South Central Illinois. "They're often more expensive and not quite as 'cute' as the character backpacks for younger students. This unique and fun event will help us fill that gap."

The first Backpack Bash was held in 2016 at the same location, with more than three dozen backpacks collected as well as more than $400 in cash.

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