Mountain View Community Center in Edgewood will open its doors from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 22) for its annual Back-to-School Barbecue, providing backpacks full of school supplies to low-income students in the Puyallup, Sumner and Fife school districts.
Beth Ann Johnson, community programs coordinator at Mountain View, said it’s anticipated between 800 and 900 children will be served this year in grades K-12.
In addition to donated backpacks and school supplies, Johnson said families will have access to free haircuts provided by BJ’s Beauty School and Barber College, gently-used clothing, immunizations courtesy of Walgreens, blood pressure screenings courtesy of Rite Aid, diabetes screenings provided by the Diabetes Association of Pierce County and dental checkups and free toothbrushes courtesy of students in the dental assistant program at Everest College.
“The goal is to makes sure that kids have the tools they need to succeed in school,” Johnson said.
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The barbecue, currently in its seventh year, was one of the inaugural programs launched by Mountain View in its first year of operation to serve the east Pierce County community. The community center was built by Mountain View Lutheran Church and is today an independent nonprofit organization. The organization will celebrate seven years in November.
In its first year the outreach program served 400 children. It’s since grown to serving more than 800.
Last year, Johnson said more than 2,400 articles of clothing were distributed during the four-hour event. Pre-registration is not required. Children must be present at the event to receive school supplies and other items.
The event is sponsored in part by Thrivent Financial.
“We’re excited for this year,” Johnson said. “It’s going to be big.”
On the free lunch menu is grilled hot dogs, fruit provided by Haggen Foods Grocery Store, and ice cream cups for dessert from Medowsweet Farms.
School supply and gently-used clothing donations for the event will be accepted through Friday (Aug. 21) at the following locations: Rite Aid in Milton, North Hill Fitness in Edgewood, Les Schwab in Edgewood, Columbia Bank in Milton and at Mountain View Community Center.
Check donations with Back-to-School on the memo line can be written out to Mountain View Community Center and mailed to 3607 122nd Ave. E., Edgewood, 98372.
For more information, visit www.mtviewcommunitycenter.org.