The Log Cabin Democrat is joining Y107 and the United Way of Central Arkansas in hosting a back to school expo and school supply collection from 6-8 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Conway Expo Center.

The Back to School Roundup will bring together nonprofit vendors and others who can provide services to children, parents and families during the school year, according to Amanda Enis, account executive at Y107.

"This is our first year. We’re hoping for a good turnout," she said. "We started talking about this with United Way at the beginning of the year. They knew this w as something they were going to do. They wanted it to be bigger than in the past."

In the past, United Way has held a school-supply drive and packed a school bus full of supplies. The expo will be a family friendly event with food, games and information, Enis said. Vendors will include organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, Conway Regional Medical Center and others. First Security Bank will grill hot dogs, and there will be door prizes. Everyone is asked to bring a school supply to donate if they are able.

She noted school supplies may be donated at three collection spots in Conway — First Security Bank and both Wal-Mart locations.

The Log Cabin Democrat is also a presenting sponsor of the event. Publisher Zach Ahrens said, "There’s a lot of excitement and anticipation surrounding the start of a new school year. As we send our kids back to school, we’re pleased to be part of the process by making sure kids start the year with a full backpack so that they can focus on new beginnings. We live in an extremely generous community, and I feel confident that people in the community will come together to meet this need as they have met countless needs before."

Maret Cahill, executive director of the United Way, said school supplies donated prior to the event will be distributed among the school districts, but everything collected at the expo will be used to stuff two buses. These supplies will be delivered to the Mayflower and Vilonia school districts, as those communities are still recovering from the April 27 tornado.

"Some of our agencies will be there so they can tell about what they do," Cahill said. "It will be a fun night out. It’s going to be a fun evening to get information. If you want your kids to take soccer, you can get information on that. We’re trying to get kids excited about going back to school and also to stuff those two buses for those two communities that were so damaged."

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