Back to School Drive a 'success'


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  • Photo by Roger Gavan From left, Backpack Snack Attack volunteer Laura Nokland; Director Shirley Puett; WTBQ station owner Frank Truatt; Maureen Major, CCO of Zylofone; WTBQ station manager Taylor Sterling; and Linda Martini and Beth Mindes of the Child Care Counsel of Orange County. Not pictured, Debbie Major, CEO of Zylofone.



On June 15, Radio WTBQ (1110 AM/93.5 FM) launched an early "Back to School Drive" for the Backpack Snack Attack program. The drive ended on Monday, Aug. 7.

Since January 2009, elementary school children in this area have been taking advantage of Backpack Snack Attack, a charitable program designed to ensure that needy children always have enough to eat.

The Warwick Reformed Church on Maple Avenue started this program, which is available to public elementary schools in Warwick, Florida, Pine Island and Greenwood Lake.

Program volunteers stuff backpacks with food for almost 300 needy children to enable them to eat at home on weekends and during the summer when the free breakfast and lunch meals they receive at school are not available.

The backpacks, with individually sized and ready-to-eat or microwave-ready food items are sent home with the children every Friday and returned to the schools the following Monday.

For almost two months WTBQ has been partnering with Backpack Snack Attack to also help needy families with the back to school supplies they may not be able to afford.

Station owner Frank Truatt and manager Taylor Sterling suggested that donors buy one extra school supply between June 15 and Aug. 7 so that Backpack Snack Attack can add these items to the first backpacks.

"The drive for Back Pack Snack Attack Back To School Supplies was a resounding success for all the children who would not have been able to afford even a pad and pencil," said Sterling. "One never knows the difference these supplies may make in a child's life. One of our loyal listeners was compelled to make an incredible generous donation and requested to stay anonymous. She made a check out for $1,500 to Back Pack Snack Attack."

Supporters and drop off locales for the WTBQ Back to School Drive for Backpack Snack Attack included Lisa from Flowers by Lisa in Pine Island, Debbie and Maureen Major of Zylofone, Beth Mindes and Linda Martini of the Child Care Counsel of Orange County, Amanda Dana of the Orange County Partnership and Noble Roasters among others.

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