Back the Pack assists 320 kids in Massena
Friday, July 5, 2019 - 9:32 am

As the 2018-2019 school year comes to a close, it is time once again, for Back the Pack to thank our Massena community for another successful year. A program such as this is only successful because of widespread community support.

Thank you to the Massena Central School District administration, counselors, teachers, secretaries, custodians, and all of the other employees who help us. Without your continued support, it would be impossible for us to operate.

We thank the St. Lawrence Centre Mall for donating our space and utilities. This allows us to spend all of our precious resources on food for our children. We also thank Erica Leonard and Dana and the entire mall staff for always helping us in any request we make.

Our thanks goes to our corporate sponsors. They give us such a boost in fundraising and make it possible for us to do “a little more.” Thank you Alcoa Foundation, Seacomm, and Stewart’s Holiday Fund.

We thank our many community civic groups, veteran’s organizations, and the many private donors who support us year in and year out, and express faith in our mission. Your response to our requests every year is truly heartwarming. We are very good stewards of your donations and try to stretch our resources as far as we are able. We also thank the many local merchants who so generously support our entire community. Without their continued support, it would be difficult to run the many charitable organizations in Massena and the surrounding communities.

We offer our thanks to the many groups that helped us pack our many snack packs. Thank you Rose Hill, the Massena Volunteer Fire Department and Auxiliary, LOOP, the Massena High School Interact Club, Massena High School Chess Club, the Massena Boys and Girls Club, Alcoa, and Arconic.

I hope that I have not forgotten anyone in this group. If I have, please forgive me. It would be hard for us to pack the almost 13,000 snack packs we distributed this year without the help of these many groups.

Thank you to the Italian American Civic Association for sponsoring our annual Back the Pack Italian American Club spaghetti dinner. This is one of our largest fundraisers of the year; one that our members look forward to, as does the community. We hope to see you this fall at our 9th annual dinner.

Thank you to Renzi Brothers Foodservice and their wonderful employees for the efficiency, help, and kindness that they display each time they deliver to our organization. We also thank the Renzi family for their kind donation of the many supplies for our spaghetti dinner.

Thank you to Linda Macaulay for organizing our raffle, donating the tickets and being the chairperson of our annual fall raffle each year. It is a great raffle and we are so grateful for the support of our community each year.

Thank you to North Country Now, Bob Beckstead, the Courier Observer, the Free Trader, WMSA, and all of other news outlets for the publicity for our events. Thank you to Curt Wood and Cappione Distributors for our banners and signs. Thank you, also, to Linda Tuper, who each year prints and donates our brochures. It is wonderful to get our information out to the public and the response is always great.

Finally, thank you to each and every one of our members who unselfishly gives of their time, talent, and resources to make Back the Pack the success it is. Our members donate, shop, pack, deliver, lug, clean, sell tickets, bake desserts, and do whatever is needed to make our organization run smoothly. In the eight years we have been in existence, we have successfully delivered over 80,000 snack packs to our four elementary schools in Massena. This year, our 8th year, we delivered almost 13,000 packs to the 320 students that received Back the Pack each week. We also delivered over 640 jars of peanut butter so that our students could have extra protein in their home lunches over school breaks. Along with this, we delivered food to the Junior High several times this year to help families facing food insecurity issues.

In closing, thank you again to the entire Massena Community for supporting our local children who are in need. We thank you for your support, your kindness, and generosity. As I say every year in closing, it really does take a village and Massena is the best! We look forward to the 2019-2020 school year which will be our 9th year.

Again, thank you, Massena.

Julianne C. Paquin

Back the Pack chairperson