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Crowds gather to receive free school supplies

Nancy Taylor: Greene Publishing, Inc

The Florida Department of Health in Madison County and the Madison County Public Library partnered together to host the Back-to-School Bash on Wednesday, Aug. 2 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The event was held at the Madison County Public Library, located at 378 College Loop, in Madison. Organizations from throughout the county participated in this event. Among the participants were, Dan Graves (with Suwannee River Libraries), Chelsey McCoy and Trista Agner (with the Madison County Health Department), St. Leo University, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Department of Children and Families (DCF), IMPACT Florida Department of Mental Health, University of South Florida (USF), Internet Essentials/Comcast, 2-1-1 Big Bend – Help Me Grow Program, Madison Medical Center, Big Bend Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) and others. When asked why they enjoy volunteering, Pauline Pendarvis and Selina Phillips, with Madison Medical Center (MMC), were ready with responses. “The number of people (here) shows the need for an event like this. It also gives us an opportunity to network with other service providers,” said Pendarvis. “It’s also really great to give back (to the community) and to see the smiles on their faces,” said Phillips. During the event, MMC gave away 185 school bags (which left them with no more to distribute), and there were still many people in line because the event lasted for another 45 minutes. It was clear that the parents in attendance appreciated receiving the help, and the children seemed thrilled with all of their “goodies.”

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