By ELAINE ALLEN-EMRICH

Staff Writer

ENGLEWOOD — The annual Back to School Bash, sponsored by the Kids’ Needs of Englewood with help from the Englewood YMCA and Living Hope Church at the Englewood SKY Academy, was another big success Saturday.

Hundreds of families with schoolchildren visited booths from local churches to learn about children’s programs and other nonprofits including Girl Scouts and more.

Students played in the bounce house, met local firefighters, had free haircuts and hearing tests. They navigated the SWAT challenge hosted by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. The Community Care Clinic performed more than 75 physicals and 50 students had dental screenings. Kids’ Needs gave away shoes, new socks and underwear. Living Hope Church members gathered backpacks and supplies to help hundreds of local students. The church also gave away more than 500 hot dogs at the event.

Public schools start Monday in both Sarasota and Charlotte counties.

Kids’ Needs is a local nonprofit corporation “dedicated to helping school children in our community and their families,” according to its website. They collect and distribute gently used and new clothing, school supplies, items for personal hygiene, and much more. For more information or to make a contribution, visit kidsneedsenglewood.com, email kidsneeds@yahoo.com, or call 941-468-2110 and ask for Leslie Edwards.

Email: eallen@sun-herald.com

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