By Katie Benfield
Approximately 1,000 local kids showed up for the annual Back 2 School Festival at Watauga High School last week, where 155 haircuts and countless school supplies were donated to help them get into the right spirit for the upcoming first day of school.
Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge, Quiet Givers and many others hosted the festival, which serves as an annual celebration of education and ensures that every child in Watauga County has access to the things they need to start the school year off right.
According to Karen Sabo, the executive director for the WFBR, it was the biggest turnout of the event so far.
“There were so many kids of lots of different ages,” Sabo said. “It was such a happy and fun event, and I’m so glad people of every background and lifestyle showed up.”
The event was filled with a variety of different activities, celebrations and supplies for the children to participate in and receive, all for free.
“The Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge was responsible for getting kids back to the haircut area and providing hairstylists and everything like that,” Sabo said. “It was so sweet seeing them go back there and come back tidy, happy and ready for the school year.”
The festival was planned for a long time by a numerous amount of businesses and local organizations, both profit and non-profit, throughout Watauga County, and there was so much help and support over the planning period.
The involvement from so many different kinds of organizations and people in the county makes Sabo incredibly thankful to live in such a supportive community she said.
“The more I learn about these issues, the more I think that education, all different kinds of education, is a really good way out of poverty and societal problems, and it’s really nice to see a variety of people getting behind that,” Sabo said. “It was so wonderful to see people get behind that in this community and to be proud of our great local school system.
“The community is just so supportive and it’s such a wonderful place to live and to know that people have got your back and are trying to help.”