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Beloit Community rallies for back-to-school bash

Jakaya Mosely proudly displays one of the free backpacks given away during Saturday’s Back to School Bash at Beloit Community Center. -- Sarah Cook

BELOIT — Children played in the sun and enjoyed free hotdogs and hamburgers Saturday as the Beloit Community Center hosted “Back to School Bash.”

The event was put together by Kim Moppins, a volunteer with the Beloit Community Association, who said she wanted to bring the community together and not only provide children with free food, but free school supplies as well.

“This is what we’re doing to spread some of our love around to the community,” Moppins said. “There’s free school supplies, hotdogs, hamburgers, chips and juices, we are giving that all out today.”

Zeigler’s donated 260 hotdogs for the event, while community members donated the rest of the food.

Children also had the opportunity to submit their name in a raffle to receive a free backpack filled with school supplies.

“I think this should go on every year,” said Kisha Parker, who donated 10 of the backpacks. “They need anything to help with their education.”

Children who didn’t win the raffle still received school supplies, including paper, notebooks, pens and pencils.

Evelyn Cox, secretary for the Beloit Community Association, said the association consists of a group of citizens who give their time and service to help give back to the area.

The Beloit Community Center, which used to serve as a Rosenthal School, is a place where community members can gather and hold events like the Back to School Bash, Cox said.

Moppins added she hopes children benefit from the event and gain the supplies they need to succeed in school.

“I see all these children out in the world that don’t have anything and some that have so much,” Moppins said. “I don’t have a lot, but I like to give what I got.”

Lakisa Lewis, who has children in third and seventh grade, came to the bash.

“They’re here to get some school supplies and just have fun,” Lewis said of her children. “Whoever decided to do this for the kids, I thank them. This is just a wonderful thing and hopefully we can keep it up.”