A fundraising effort toward a local group’s ultimate goal — to ready students and their families for another school year — will be a pancake breakfast at Stoby’s Restaurant on  July 25 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Proceeds will benefit the Pine Street Community Back to School Backpack Program. 

Tickets at $5 each are available in advance at Stoby’s Restaurant or may be purchased the day of the event.

The Back to School Backpack Program, according to committee member Gena Ester, provides children in kindergarten through the eighth grade of low income families with a backpack full of school supplies.
“We actually go find the school and grade’s supply list and stuff a backpack with the school supplies they need to get started,” Ester said. “We make sure they get every necessary item.”

In its first year, the program gave 300 young students backpacks, and last year, more than 500.

“This year alone, we have received two grants,” Ester said. “We got one from Arkansas Community Foundation for school supplies. Also, Walmart on Highway 65 has given us a grant. True Holiness Saints Center also hosts a charity basketball game from which we are provided proceeds.”

All efforts will culminate in an event slated for Aug. 14 in the educational wing of the Pleasant Branch Baptist Church located at 601 Spruce St. in Conway. Between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., students may pick up their backpacks. The program will also serve a meal for family members on this day, and vouchers for haircuts at Studio Genesis Salon will be distributed.

According to Ester, the event will also be each student and family member’s opportunity to visit with community leaders from political, church and school arenas. 

“Dr. Greg Murry, superintendent of Conway schools, will be there volunteering. It’s important for the students to see community leaders serving in that capacity,” Ester said.

The program recommends pre-registering children for supplies between 10 a.m. and noon July 31 or between noon and 2 p.m. Aug. 7 at the educational wing of Pleasant Branch Baptist Church.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)