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Benefits for kids draw hundreds

LaGRANGE — About 200 students received no-cost back to school supplies and more than 300 were treated to free hair cuts over the weekend.

On Saturday, volunteers stuffed backpacks full of loose-leaf paper, crayons, pencils and other supplies at the William H. Griggs Recreation Center on Glenn Robertson Drive.

The event was more streamlined than last year, and went more smoothly, said Maggie Foster, one of the volunteers.

“We’ve had people dropping in all day,” she said. “This year, we used a voucher system. People could go online or stop by the Griggs center and fill one out. That way, we know how many backpacks we’ll need.”

Micheal Fannin, the founder of Positive Contribution, which sponsors the event, said it’s aimed at giving back to the community.

“All of the items come from donors in the community,” said Fannin, who also teaches third grade at Callaway Elementary School. “This is all about giving back to the community. We’re blessed to be able to give back — someone has to do it. It’s all about ‘unity in the community.’”

The event is in its ninth year, and is done in partnership with West Georgia STAR, the nonprofit arm of the LaGrange Housing Authority.

Also at the Griggs center on Saturday, the group Teens R Us Girls Club held a voter registration drive, registering about 50 people.

On Sunday, the annual Haircutz 4 Kidz event drew a steady crowd for a giant water slide, dunk tank, cotton candy, popcorn, dancing and — of course — hair cuts. An hour and a half into the four-hour event, organizers had counted 372 people at the Griggs Center.

“It’s been slow, but steady,” Fannin said, referencing to the more hectic and crowded events of the past. “Last year it was a rush at 1 (p.m., when the event started), but this year it’s been more smooth. … It’s steady.”

Inside the Griggs Center gymnasium, dancers performed for the packed crowd. On the periphery of the gym floor, students received hair cuts from local barbers volunteering their time.

Marcus Hudson of True Story Kutz barber shop was hard at work shaping a young boy’s hair among a group of others. This is his seventh year volunteering with the event, and said this one has been “great.”

“It’s a blessing to give back to these kids,” he said.

Maggie Foster, left, a volunteer, helps prepare back-to-school supplies for pick up on Saturday at the William H. Griggs Recreation Center on Glenn Robertson Drive. About 200 backpacks full of supplies were given to area youngsters. Montest Cameron, second from right, holds a clipboard as she poses for a photo during a registration drive held by the group Teens R Us Girls Club. About 50 voters were registered.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/08/web1_BackToSchool02WEB.jpgMaggie Foster, left, a volunteer, helps prepare back-to-school supplies for pick up on Saturday at the William H. Griggs Recreation Center on Glenn Robertson Drive. About 200 backpacks full of supplies were given to area youngsters. Montest Cameron, second from right, holds a clipboard as she poses for a photo during a registration drive held by the group Teens R Us Girls Club. About 50 voters were registered.

Tyler H. Jones | Daily News

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/08/web1_BackToSchool01WEB.jpg

Tyler H. Jones | Daily News

A group of step dancers entertain attendees inside the William H. Griggs Recreation Center on Sunday during the annual Haircutz 4 Kidz event.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/08/web1_web0815Haircutz2.jpgA group of step dancers entertain attendees inside the William H. Griggs Recreation Center on Sunday during the annual Haircutz 4 Kidz event.

Matthew Strother | Daily News

Marcus Hudson of True Story Kutz shapes a child’s hair during the Haircutz 4 Kidz event on Sunday inside the William H. Griggs Recreations Center. Hudson was among several barbers who volunteered their time for the annual event.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/08/web1_web0815Haircutz1.jpgMarcus Hudson of True Story Kutz shapes a child’s hair during the Haircutz 4 Kidz event on Sunday inside the William H. Griggs Recreations Center. Hudson was among several barbers who volunteered their time for the annual event.

Matthew Strother | Daily News

Staff report

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