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Kids pack Back to School rally

LaGRANGE — Some area students will start the new school year in style, thanks to local businesses, agencies and the community.

Dozens of children and their parents flocked to Lafayette Square on Sunday for the Back to School rally. The event provided plenty of music, entertainment and games, and motivational guest speakers Quay Bobbie and Kit Cummings pumped students up for the 2016-2017 school year.

Some students also walked away with new backpacks filled with school supplies. The items were part of donations provided to the Backpacks 4 Kids campaign hosted by the Troup County District Attorney’s office throughout the month of July.

“Right when we started to give out the backpacks, it started to pour (rain), but we still had a fun time,” said Assistant District Attorney Brett Adams. “… The back-to-school party went great. There were a lot of people out there.”

The D.A.’s office, through monetary and physical donations of school supplies, was able to pack more than 700 backpacks for elementary school children in the area, Adams stated. The bags helped families who might not be able to afford all the items required to start school.

“It was amazing to see people give to this initiative,” said Adams. “Some people gave $5, some people gave $100 and some gave $200. A lot of Troup businesses and organizations showed their support, too. We appreciate the show of support from the Troup County community. They amazed me with the food drive, and they amaze me now. This community doesn’t just say they’re here to help the underprivileged and most vulnerable; this community actually walks the walk.”

Ameia Cotton, founder of the Troup County Anchor Foundation, also thanked the community.

“Your support is a great vote of confidence in our mission,” she said. “We are delighted with the growing number of donations and people who share our commitment to make a difference through mutual understanding and individual initiative. Thanks to everyone again for your kind generosity.”

Hundreds of backpacks and supplies will also be delivered to the Troup County School System later this week so they can pass them out to elementary schools, which will then hand them out to children in need.

Several local law enforcement agencies and first responder organizations from all over Troup County were also on hand to provide parents with information on a variety of services they offer to the community.

The rally was aimed at helping children prepare for school and teaching them about staying away from the pitfalls of peer pressure, such as gangs, drugs and alcohol abuse.

“We put on these events so that we can attack the problem before it even tries to come here,” Cotton explained. “… We have been very successful with your help.”

The event was hosted by the Troup County Anchor Foundation, Greater Achievement Youth Empowerment Academy and the Troup County District Attorney’s Office.

They plan on holding another, bigger Back to School rally next year.

People gather on Lafayette Square on Sunday for the Back to School rally hosted by Greater Achievement Youth Empowerment Academy, the Anchor Foundation and Troup County District Attorney’s Office. The event featured music, entertainment, games and motivational guest speakers. The D.A.’s office handed out new backpacks filled with school supplies to children as part of its Backpacks 4 Kids campaign.
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_web0809Backpacks01.jpgPeople gather on Lafayette Square on Sunday for the Back to School rally hosted by Greater Achievement Youth Empowerment Academy, the Anchor Foundation and Troup County District Attorney’s Office. The event featured music, entertainment, games and motivational guest speakers. The D.A.’s office handed out new backpacks filled with school supplies to children as part of its Backpacks 4 Kids campaign. Submitted
Children eat ice cream during the Back to School rally Sunday on Lafayette Square.
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_web0809Backpacks02.jpgChildren eat ice cream during the Back to School rally Sunday on Lafayette Square. Submitted
A group of children pose for a photo during the Back to School rally Sunday on Lafayette Square.
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_web0809Backpacks03.jpgA group of children pose for a photo during the Back to School rally Sunday on Lafayette Square. Submitted
Williemae Callaway, executive director of Greater Achievement Youth Empowerment Academy, left, and Ameia Cotton, founder of the Troup County Anchor Foundation, pose for a photo Sunday on Lafayette Square during the Back to School rally. Greater Achievement, the Anchor Foundation and Troup County District Attorney’s Office hosted the event.
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_web0809Backpacks04.jpgWilliemae Callaway, executive director of Greater Achievement Youth Empowerment Academy, left, and Ameia Cotton, founder of the Troup County Anchor Foundation, pose for a photo Sunday on Lafayette Square during the Back to School rally. Greater Achievement, the Anchor Foundation and Troup County District Attorney’s Office hosted the event. Submitted
Local agencies help kids kick off school year in style

By Melanie Ruberti

mruberti@civitasmedia.com

Melanie Ruberti is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. She can be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.