Letters

Letters 08-29-2016

Religious Bigotry President Obama has been roundly criticized for his apparent unwillingness to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” His critics seem to suggest that through the mere use of that terminology, the defeat of ISIS would be assured...

TC DDA: Focus On Your Mission What on earth is the Traverse City DDA thinking? Purchasing land around (not within) its TIF boundaries and then offering it at a discount to developers? That is not its mission. Sadly enough, it is already falling down on the job regarding what is its mission. Crosswalks are deteriorating all around downtown, trees aren’t trimmed, sidewalks are uneven. Why can’t the DDA do a better job of maintaining what it already has? And still no public restrooms downtown, despite all the tax dollars captured since 1997. What a joke...

European-Americans Are Boring “20 Fascinating People” in northern Michigan -- and every single one is European-American? Sorry, but this is journalistically incorrect. It’s easy for editors to assign and reporters to write stories about people who are already within their personal and professional networks. It’s harder to dig up stuff about people you don’t know and have never met. Harder is better...

Be Aware Of Lawsuit While most non-Indians were sleep walking, local Odawa leaders filed a lawsuit seeking to potentially have most of Emmet County and part of Charlevoix County declared within their reservation and thus under their jurisdiction. This assertion of jurisdiction is embedded in their recently constructed constitution as documentation of their intent...

More Parking Headaches I have another comment to make about downtown TC parking following Pat Sullivan’s recent article. My hubby and I parked in a handicap spot (with a meter) behind Mackinaw Brew Pub for lunch. The handicap spot happens to be 8-10 spaces away from the payment center. Now isn’t that interesting...

Demand Change At Women’s Resource Center Change is needed for the Women’s Resource Center for the Grand Traverse Area (WRCGT). As Patrick Sullivan pointed out in his article, former employees and supporters don’t like the direction WRCGT has taken. As former employees, we are downright terrified at the direction Juliette Schultz and Ralph Soffredine have led the organization...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Shoes & snacks for backpacks
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Shoes & snacks for backpacks

Erin Crowell - February 15th, 2010
“Shoe and Snacks” for Backpacks
By Erin Crowell
“Every student needs a backpack.”
It’s the reason why the Traverse Bay Sunrise Rotary Club has donated over 7,700 backpacks to area elementary and high school students.
Since 2004, the Backpacks for Kids program has become the signature event for Rotary members, providing area students with vital school supplies and the means to carry them.
This year, the Rotary Club will host its first “Shoe & Snacks for Backpacks” fundraiser on February 21 at Timber Ridge Resort in Traverse City. Participants will enjoy a snowshoe hike along the groomed trails with complimentary hot beverages and snacks. The $15 registration fee sponsors one fully supplied backpack for the 2010 Backpack for Kids program. The maximum fee for families is $25, with additional donations welcome.
Backpacks for elementary students contain supplies such as markers, crayons, craft paper, hand sanitizer, pencil boxes and scissors. The supply for high school students “gets a little heftier,” says event coordinator Jessica Luckey. “They carry more books, and calculators, notebooks, pens and pencils.”
In August, Rotary members and volunteers stuff backpacks via assembly line and then have the bags shipped to two central locations, just in time for the new school year.
The Rotary Club, partnered with Traverse Area Public Schools, provides 1,000-1,500 packs to area school children each year. Last year, the program donated 1,300 backpacks – 100 of those going to high school students, and the other half to elementary students.
Every year, TCAPS gives the Rotary a list of students eligible for the program. Although the program started with primarily TCAPS students in mind, it’s not limited to students in that school district, says program director David Payne.
“We’re reaching out to Benzie, Manistee…programs all over the region.”
Last year, the program included specific bags for the TBA ISD programs. Payne explains schools outside of the Grand Traverse area can obtain backpacks too.
Other surrounding rotary clubs have requested information on the backpack program to be implemented into their own communities, says Luckey.

MAIN FOCUS
The total cost for collecting items and distributing backpacks is around $22,000.
“We dedicate a majority of club resources, both money and manpower,” says Payne. “It’s our main focus every year.”
But why backpacks?
“Everyone needs a backpack, and with more and more people losing jobs, and economic hardships taking a strong hold in the area, it’s something we identified as one less thing for someone to worry about,” says Payne.
The event at Timber Ridge will be a first-time fundraiser for the program, something of a crapshoot, according to Payne.
“We have no idea what to expect. Are we going to make a couple dollars? Are we going to lose money and not do it again? I’m pretty sure we won’t lose money, but you just never know. For one thing, it’s another thing to keep the momentum going. It’s another way to create awareness and know who we are.”

You can help donate a stuffed backpack by participating in the snowshoe trek at Timber Ridge Resort in Traverse City, on Sunday, February 21, from 2-4 p.m. $15 fee sponsors one fully stuffed backpack, a fun trek and hot beverages and goodies. Families can participate for $25. Snowshoe rentals are available at $5/pair through GT Cycle. Advance registration is encouraged. Visit tcsunriserotary.org or call Jessica Luckey at 932-6238.
Those interested in the Backpacks for Kids Program may contact David Payne at 231-313-9653 or email: dmpayne18@yahoo.com.

 
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