Our view

Summer is humming to a close — and with it, scenes like the one from a Bolivar yard featured on today’s front page are heartachingly numbered. 

This time of year means one thing above all else: back to school. 

Inarguably, the hub-bub that surrounds the start of the new school year is a special season, teeming with anticipation. And at the heart of the joyful din is the word “new.”

New hopes. New starts. New plans. New adventures. 

And new supplies, clothes and other must-haves. 

For many area families and their students, back-to-school joy is tempered by the reality of the season — its expense.

Thankfully, in perfect time, Polk County’s heart for students will be on full display Saturday. And for the sixth year, area kids will have more than a little help starting the school year off on the right foot.

It’s all thanks to what has become a much relied upon annual tradition — the Back to School Extravaganza, spearheaded by Bolivar’s Open Hearts United Methodist Church and in collaboration with other area churches, businesses and organizations.

This year’s extravaganza is set for 8:30-11:30 a.m. at Bolivar High School. And it will undoubtedly be a sight to see.

Since its first year, the number of kids the extravaganza has served has been evidence of its necessity. With 370 kids helped in 2014, that number has roughly doubled in recent years. 

And it’s safe to predict thousands of backpacks, school supplies, hygiene products, socks, undergarments, haircuts and more will be distributed to hundreds of Polk County students again this year — all for free.

But let’s be clear: The event is free of charge for students. It is not free to put on. 

In fact, organizers estimate it costs upward of $10,000 to pull off.

Consequently, the success of this year’s extravaganza, as it has been since its inception, is dependent on both donations and volunteers.

And with just days to go, help is still needed.

Chief among needs, extravaganza organizer Kathy Drake told the BH-FP Monday, are volunteers who can help in the hair cutting station. Three-ring binders, shampoo and body wash also remain at the top of the list.

But while we are at it, making predictions, we also think it’s safe to say Polk County — with hearts on full display — will come through with more and plenty Saturday, ensuring yet another extravaganza comes and goes more than worthy of its name. 

To make donations, to volunteer or for more information about the Back to School Extravaganza, contact Bolivar’s Open Hearts United Methodist Church at 326-4885.  

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