The Back to School Bash held at the Public Safety Building on Walnut Street on Saturday, was more of a success than expected. The goal was to provide 180 children with a book bag filled with school supplies. They gave out 110 book bags and 130 HTC bags filled with supplies listed on the Horry County School District website.
Tonsheka Neal, Amanda Hawley-Causey, Deborah Cannon, Jenna Winborne, Kenya Wright, Esau Johnson, Chief Gary Buley, Officer Keith Massey and Joan Griffith spent their Saturday volunteering from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cloey and Callie Wright worked one of the stations making slime and assisted with the music.
There was a dunking booth that Wright and Massey took turns working, each sat in the hot seat to be dunked into a vat of water when a child threw the ball on the mark and they went down with a splash. Buley worked the cornhole station and posed with children in the police car cutout. He also swore in several deputies with a pledge as he placed a police badge sticker on the child’s shirt. Johnson grilled up many hot dogs and when they ran out he purchased more. Children could also get a bag of popcorn. All items were donated, the school supplies, food, water and the dunking booth. Line dancing was popular. One resident, Josh, led the line dancing in the center of the parking lot.
Mayor Todd Harrelson worked the event handing out hot dogs and talking with the children. He said, “This has been a great success and the ladies in the office did all the hard work to pull this event together.”
Wright stated that the crowd gathered and lined the street at 9 a.m. from the fire station hub to the parking lot. By 10 a.m. all the book bags were given out, and they started handing out the HTC bags filled with school supplies and children participated in the station and left with a smile. Wright said, “It is an overwhelming feeling knowing that we were able to provide the necessary items for a child to begin the school year.” She continued, “We (the office staff) feel we have accomplished what we set out to achieve, to provide supplies to children in need, and that gives us all a good feeling.”
With temperatures in the triple digits Saturday the dunking booth was a cool spot, not just for the children, but for Massey who didn’t mind when the children hit the bullseye.
With the help of the sponsors listed, Silver: Car-Quest, Quality Auto Parts, Russell’s Super Service, Buck Causey Construction LLC. Bronze: Shorty’s Grill, Vicky Stocker, United Community Bank, Crossway Church of the Resurrection and Daryl’s Auto Repair. Back Pack Sponsors: Aaron’s Sales and Lease of Loris, Advance America of Loris, American Hero (x2), 701 Pawn Shop, Inc., Joan Gause, Classy Collections, Jenna Winborne, Susan Winborne, Clydie Baker, Kenya Wright and Tonsheka Wilson; and the generous donation from the Salvation Army. Individuals paying their water bill or visiting the city office donated paper, crayons, markers and monetary donations.
Both Harrelson and Wright said they appreciate the generosity of all who supported and donated school supplies, made monetary donations and donated their time to help make the first Back to School Bash a huge success.