Opinion: Community involvement made Potsdam back-to-school event a success, says event organizer
Friday, September 6, 2019 - 7:19 am

Thank you to all the people who helped make the first Potsdam Back to School Fair a reality! The event was held on Saturday, 24 August, on the gorgeous four-acre property of New Hope Community Church.

More than 600 people attended the event, including volunteers and resource providers. This was a FUN event for children with an 80 ft. obstacle course, bounce house, carnival games, arts & crafts, face painting, Cubby T. Clown & Company, food, live music, and photo ops with The North Country Crusaders! On the practical side, children received school supplies, haircuts, vision screening, and clothing; parents received help with financial forms for free or reduced meals, and registered children with Operation Safe Child.

The Back to School Fair was a partnership between the Potsdam Snack Pack Program, Potsdam Central School District, and Potsdam Chamber of Commerce. Thank you to Superintendent Joann Chambers and Chamber Executive Director Kurstin Stowell for the time and effort dedicated to this event.

This was truly a team effort! We are so thankful for the financial support we received from the following organizations: BJ’s Wholesale Club, Canton-Potsdam Hospital, Great Northern Printing, New Hope Community Church, North Country Savings Bank, Plumley Real Estate LLC, Potsdam Church of the Nazarene, Potsdam Teachers Association, Price Chopper, Renzi’s Foodservice, Sandstone Family Dentistry, T J Toyota, and Walmart. Thanks also to The People Project, Barstow Motors, Big Lots, Brick & Mortar Music, Elks Lodge 2074, Fraser Computing, The ARC Jefferson-St. Lawrence, Radio Station B99.3/Star 100.1, Raquette River Lions Club, and The UPS Store #5968, for collecting and donating school supplies. People from the community were following our story on the Potsdam Snack Pack Program Facebook page, and constantly checking to see what items were needed or volunteering their time to help pack supplies.

We greatly appreciate the representatives of the 26 resource providers and organizations for coming out and letting families know how to access their services. Special thanks to Melissa Pryce, owner of Mh Studios Salon, and Shelly Murray, owner of Today’s Hair & Day Spa, and their stylists for donating their time to provide free haircuts. Students from BOCES Cosmetology program also worked alongside the local stylists and provided haircuts.

It takes all of us to help our community thrive and ensure that we can address the needs of all our residents. Thank you for allowing me to do my part.

Laurell Brault, coordinator

Potsdam Snack Pack Program