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Media Releases and News

Back to School Backpack Event - coming Aug. 18th, 2022

August 7, 2022

BENNINGTON - The annual Back to School Backpack Giveaway, one of the area's most popular events for children, is scheduled for Aug. 18 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Bennington Auto Mall on Performance Drive.

Featuring gifts of backpacks stuffed with school supplies for children soon to return to the classroom, the event - sponsored by the dealership, the Bennington Banner and Fidium Fiber Internet - features free demonstrations, activities, refreshments and entertainment provided by community partners.

"We love to do these kinds of events," said Jordan Brechenser, president and publisher of the Bennington Banner. "Getting kids and families prepared to re-enter the school year can be difficult for many; we hope this fun, family-friendly event helps get our area kids ready for the new school year."

Community partners include the Bennington Police Department and Gracie the police K-9; the Bennington Fire Department with a truck and fire hose to entertain the kids; and displays or services by the Bennington Rescue Squad, Sunrise Family Resource Center, Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, United Counseling Service, the Head Start program, 802 Restrooms, Ocean State Job Lot, VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region, Park-McCullough Historic Governor's Mansion, The Collaborative, the Alliance for Community Transformations, and Staples.

Food will be provided free of charge by Green Mountain Concessions, Hannaford market, the Hemmings Motor News popcorn truck, and The Abby Group.

Entertainment will offered by A&M Entertainment (a bouncy house), Mission City Church (face painting); World of Wonder (princesses and superheroes); Gloria Sheelah (hair braiding), and the YMCA/Recreation Center (children's games).

"We really need to give the credit to our sponsors on this, Bennington Auto Mall and Fidium Fiber, as well as the various organizations that help to pull it all off," said Brechenser. "They make it possible and provide the funding necessary to get all these backpacks and supplies together."

The first 250 children will receive backpacks with school supplies, said Vermont News & Media advertising sales manager Susan Plaisance.

Children must be present at the event and accompanied by a parent.

"We just love putting these events together for the community and the Back to School is my favorite," Plaisance said. "Like previous years, Bennington Auto Mall has stepped up and is game for anything! And new to this event this year is Fidium Fiber. We simply cannot do these events without their help. This year so many of our community partners have stepped in to make this the biggest Back to School event ever!"

Bradley Croff, general manager of the dealership, said, "Bennington Auto Mall is proud to give back to our community and help our local children get the backpacks and school supplies they need to succeed!"

Police Chief Paul Doucette commented, "Members of the Bennington Police Department are looking forward to participating in another backpack challenge event this year. We will be at the event with a stocked Copsicle trailer and look forward to handing out backpacks to area children. It is a pleasure to see all the smiles on the faces of the kids and the even bigger smiles on the faces of the parents!

"Personally," he added, "I am looking forward to the face painting and delicious cotton candy again this year!"

Jim Therrien
Compliments of: The Bennington Banner