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Community members and organizations pitched in to make the annual Backpack and School Supply Distribution event successful and fun

PMG PHOTO: KRISTEN WOHLERS - Kids in the Canby community were able to 'shop' for the perfect backpack at The Canby Center's annual Backpack and School Supply Distribution event on Thursday, Aug. 22.

The Canby Center's annual Backpack and School Supply Distribution event was a huge success this year as hundreds of kids in kindergarten through high school received backpacks and supplies for back-to-school.

At the last count, Canby Center's event organizer Kathleen Hanberg said they had collected 350 quality backpacks for the event. But when the day came, and organizers accepted additional people who hadn't preregistered, there was some concern over having enough backpacks appropriate for the older kids.

But it was almost as if the backpacks were multiplying.

PMG PHOTO: KRISTEN WOHLERS - The Canby Center collected at least 350 backpacks for the event.

"It was kind of loaves and fishes," Hanberg said. "Because at one point we had them carefully set aside. Okay, we want to make sure we have enough of the middle through high school backpacks…so we kept shuffling them over and then we took more people and it became a little bit of a concern. Are we going to have enough of the older kids' backpacks?

PMG PHOTO: KRISTEN WOHLERS - Canby Police Officer Chris Scharmota pauses for a photo at the backpack event with his K-9 black lab Puck in tow."Yeah. Plenty," she said. "It was just all there and people were taken care of."

From floral prints, mermaids and unicorns to robots and plain colors, indeed, there was a perfect backpack for every kid. The backpacks lay across several tables as kids "shopped" for the right one.

But it wasn't all about school supplies. This year's event was also tons of fun.

A big crew of Canby Police officers attended to serve a barbecue meal to everyone in attendance, and Officer Chris Scharmota even brought his K-9 black lab Puck along for the fun.

A bouncy house was available, music was playing, Olive Photography was snapping fun pics at their photo booth and all appeared to be having a good time.

The event was made possible thanks to individual volunteers and donors and the following organizations: Bethany Evangelical Church, Canby Alliance Church, Canby Evangelical Church, Canby Foursquare Church, Canby Fred Meyer, Canby Police Association and families, Canby Public Library, Canby School District, Cutsforth's Thriftway, Ebner's Meats, Gwynn's Coffeehouse, Kona Ice, Olive Photography and Canby High School Football.

"I think it was really cool to see so many people participating, and not just the day of, but in all the preparations, like donating backpacks," Hanberg said. "So, I think overall it went great. It amazed me how many people are in our community that want to contribute to kids, not just in supplies and backpacks, but with their time."

If there are families who still have a need for backpacks or supplies, contact the Canby Center at 503-266-2920.

Kristen Wohlers
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