The largest back-to-school outreach program in Lee County is almost here! The 17th Annual Big Backpack Event is presented 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sunday, July 31 at Harborside Event Center by the Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida. Every year thousands of kids receive free backpacks and school supplies at this festival event while celebrating diversity in our community.
Admission is free to the Big Backpack Event. The line typically begins to form around Harborside Event Center as early as 7 a.m., but moves quickly once the doors open. The first 2,000 students ages 5-12 will receive free backpacks and school supplies. Parents or guardians must bring their school-age children in order to receive the free supplies. Families who may be worried about parking, don’t be. The parking garage next to Harborside will be open for parking free of charge for guests of the BIG Backpack Event thanks to the generosity of Denison Parking’s General Manager Zoila Davis.
Although the event is only days away, there is still time for community members to participate in the Adopt-A-Student fundraiser. Each $10 donation provides a student with a new backpack and school supplies that include notebook paper, folders, crayons, glue, pencils and pens.
For the past 16 years the Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida has been hosting this popular community outreach event that to date has provided new backpacks and
school supplies to more than 37,000 students. The event lends a helping hand to students and families in need, while celebrating the diversity in Southwest Florida with live multicultural entertainment on the main stage including hip hop, Irish step dance, salsa and more.
Families will enjoy other festivities such as face painting, clowns and live entertainment. New this year is an exciting inflatable obstacle course. Thanks to many generous sponsors and vendors, students may also receive eye exams, haircuts, and other giveaways at the event while supplies last.
Recently, Neal Communities came forward with the largest single donation to date to the Big Backpack Event. The more than $11,000 contribution adopts more than half of the students expected to be served at this year’s event. Additional sponsors for this year’s event include: WINK-TV, MundoMax, Azteca, Univision, Walmart, Jason’s Deli, Lee County Family News, The News-Press, CONRIC PR & Marketing, Fuller Online Solutions, HABA, the City of Fort Myers and Harborside Event Center.
For more information on Adopt-A-Student, vendor, volunteer or business sponsorship opportunities, visit www.multiculturalcentre.org.
Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida
The Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization established in Fort Myers with the purpose of promoting programs aimed at bringing people of different cultures together and culturally linking Southwest Florida with other communities around the world. For more information visit www.multiculturalcentre.org.