Chautauqua Center Holds Massive Community Backpacking Event | News, Sports, Jobs

Have fun at the backpack giveaway event. PJ Photos by Timothy Frudd

After a two-year hiatus, the Chautauqua Center held a major backpack giveaway event Tuesday at Jackson-Taylor Park.

The community flocked to the event, as the Chautauqua Center distributed 300 of the nearly 2,000 backpacks it prepared for those in need.

In addition to the backpack giveaway, the Chautauqua Center event included a bouncy house, crafts, balloon animals, face painting, food, games, dancing, prizes and giveaways. health examinations.

County Executive PJ Wendel attended the event at Jackson-Taylor Park and voiced his support for the Chautauqua Center Community Action.

“It is enormous,” said Wendel. “The Chautauqua Center itself, being a federally licensed health center, provides health care that some people may not have.”

Have fun at the backpack giveaway event. PJ Photos by Timothy Frudd

Wendel said that in addition to providing health care, events like Tuesday’s community picnic and backpack giveaways highlight the other resources the Chautauqua Center offers the community.

Wendel said he spoke to a mother at the event who said she could not afford to buy her child a backpack for school.

“It is enormous,” he said. “People don’t realize this stuff is going on.

We really don’t realize the people who are in need.

The success of the Chautauqua Center backpack distribution event highlights the effectiveness of different organizations working together to help those in need and impact the community.

Have fun at the backpack giveaway event. PJ Photos by Timothy Frudd

“It’s a great way for the community, especially the Chautauqua Center, to help,” said Wendel. “Not just in health, but now you see it’s a multi-faceted approach.”

Wendel said the event brings together several different community organizations and represents a model of how other organizations can work together to benefit the community.

“Bringing everyone together is something to focus on,” he said. ” It is what it is. It’s about the children, not anyone else. It’s really about making sure they’re healthy and that their back-to-school needs are being taken care of.

After nine years of hosting the event by the Chautauqua Center, Wendel hopes the program will expand further for the tenth anniversary of the event next year.

“These children will remember it” he said. “They were looking forward to it. It’s a big event.

Have fun at the backpack giveaway event. PJ Photos by Timothy Frudd

Matthew Hanley, marketing coordinator for the Chautauqua Center, also said the event had a major impact on the community.

“We are delighted with how it went,” He said. “For the community, I think this is a great post-COVID-19 event. We can all get back together, we can all make things normal, we can have fun, we can bring our sellers back. We have not been able to organize this event in recent years due to COVID-19. »

While the Chautauqua Center delivered 1,500 backpacks to schools last year, the organization is thrilled to have been able to host an in-person event this year.

“This event is worth it” Hanley said, “to see all the smiles, to see everyone laughing. We will be giving away approximately 300 backpacks for this event alone. »

Tuesday’s event brought together more people than expected by the Chautauqua Center.

Have fun at the backpack giveaway event. PJ Photos by Timothy Frudd

“It’s an exceptional participation” said Hanley.

Hanley said Monday’s event in Dunkirk saw a crowd of around 350 families and the Chautauqua center handing out around 260 backpacks.

While attendance figures for the Dunkirk event indicated a positive sign for an event following the pandemic, Hanley was “soufflé” by participating in the Jamestown event.

The Chautauqua Center backpack giveaway made a massive comeback Tuesday, as large community crowds gathered for free school supplies and a fun event at Jackson-Taylor Park. PJ Photos by Timothy Frudd


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Joseph K. Bennett