The 7th annual Backpack in the Park hopes to take party-goers back to their childhoods to help a new generation of young people get a successful start in the new school year.
This year’s theme, “Summer Camp,” gives attendees the chance to relive such childhood camp classics like crafting and s’mores while collecting backpacks and school supplies for Georgia’s less fortunate kids.
One of the hallmark annual events of For The Kid in All of Us, this year’s school supplies fundraiser returns to Atlanta’s Piedmont Park from 4-7 p.m. on July 28, at the Greystone Pavilion.
Alison Hall, president of For The Kid in All of Us, said this year’s event will benefit 13 local organizations, including an elementary school in DeKalb.
Entertainment will be provided by Best of Atlanta winner DJ Vicki Powell and the Drama-Tech Theater group. There will be specialty cocktails, games (including “giant” Twister) and even a balloon wall with prizes like hotel stays and restaurant gift certificates.
Entry to the event is a backpack filled with school supplies or a gift card worth $35 or more. The official supplies list: Folders (6), Spiral Notebooks (2), Filler Paper 150 Sheets (1), Pink Eraser (3), Ruler (1), Glue Stick (1), #2 Pencil 12 Pack (1), Crayons 24 Ct (1), Colored Pencil 12 Pack (1), Index, Cards 3” x 5” (1 pack). Backpacks can be donated online or brought to the party.
The official after-party will be at Joe’s on Juniper following the event in Piedmont Park.
Organizers called the 2011 event “the best year yet.” Donations were up almost 30 percent, with 1,826 backpacks collected, according to For the Kid. In total, more than 6,900 backpacks have been donated since the first Backpack in the Park was held in 2006.
“If we can get up to 2,000 backpacks, that would break the bank, but we certainly want to break our record,” Hall said of this year’s expectations.
For Hall and other volunteers with For the Kid, satisfaction comes from the children who benefit from the event.
“When you get the opportunity to deliver these backpacks and see the kids’ faces, their eyes light up,” Hall said. “That’s what it means to us, knowing that you’re getting a kid started off right.”
For the Kid in All of Us, founded in 2003, also organizes the annual Toy Party, which collects holiday gifts for children in need.