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October 27, 2017 3:50 pm

Back To School Event Draws Hundreds

Thursday, August 24, 2017 @ 12:21 PM

Hundreds of boxes of  grade specific school supplies are ready  to be  handed out – photo 250News

Prince George, B.C. –  The line up outside the Prince George Native Friendship Centre started at 9 this morning,  and  when the day is through more than 700 students will be outfitted to head back to class.

This is the third year the Native Friendship Centre has offered  the free event  which  provides students with  back packs,  school supplies,  hair cuts and clothing   to prepare students for the  new school year.

This year,  the event is being held  outdoors,  complete with  bouncy castles  and a photo booth .  The decision to move the event outdoors  was an easy one says  Friendship Centre  Executive Director Barb Ward-Burkitt  “Doing  it inside the building gets crazy when you get 700 people in there.”

Ward-Burkitt says 400 people pre-registered for  back packs,  “That pre-registration ended at the end of July but we’ve been getting phone calls, so we think there’s going to be  about 750 backpacks distributed.”

This year,  the  event  has different ‘stations’  which are broken down to   specific grades.  Hundreds of boxes are  organized  by grade,  and each box contains the supplies  needed  specific to that grade. ( at right, a box filled with supplies for a grade four student)

Funding for the project comes from a number of sources  says Ward-Burkitt “We get  $10 thousand dollars worth of funding from  RBC through  their Royal Eagle Back pack program,  then we’ve got lots of  contributions from businesses in Prince George in the form of  donations, like all the water was donated, all the fruit was donated the hair dressers donate their services  as well.  The SmokeHouse catering and Hospitality program  donates all the food.  So it’s from a number of different sources,  and Gaming,  our Gaming grant contributes some as well.”

Today’s event is expected to be the largest  back to school event  the Native Friendship Centre has  presented  says Ward-Burkitt,  “Our first year,  I think we did about 250,  last year we had about 4 to five hundred and this year we are expecting the largest.”

She says no child will go away empty handed “We want to be in a situation where we are not turning people away.”



Kudos for NFC for doing up such a fanastic event for the community. Thanks to RBC for their donation and other various entities involved. Even though we are not a recipient, it is good to see this happening.

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