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Churches host Tools 4 School, Summerfest

A large crowd gathered a few hours in advance of the 15th annual Tools 4 School giveaway on Center Street.

Organizers had spent the last several weeks at St. Paul Lutheran church, filling donated backpacks with supplies for students to use in the coming school year.

Nancy Corn, an organizer with Tools 4 School, said they prepared 1,600 backpacks for the event.

Corn said attendance was a little lighter this year, but she attributed that to numerous events taking place in the region on Saturday, including other supply giveaways.

“There are a lot of activities going on today,” she said.

She said they received help in putting on the event, as they do each year, from All Saints Lutheran Church in Worthington, as well as from numerous local business and other area churches.

The church was also giving out cookies and ice water while the school supply giveaway took place.

It was held in conjunction with the annual Summerfest on Center Street, which featured inflatables for children, free back-to-school haircuts, face painting, a dunk tank and a visit from Drew’s Barnyard, a petting zoo from Scioto County.

Owner Drew Carter said they are part of a youth entrepreneurial outreach and agriculture program, teaching children about farming.

“We have a lot of rescue animals that are donated,” he said.

Mike Barbour serves on the board of First United Methodist Church, who organized the Summerfest.

He said the church always follows it up with Vacation Bible School, which they were doing sign ups for. It is scheduled through Wednesday of this week.

He said they will also be taking part in National Back to Church Sunday, set for Sept. 15. The date is part of a national campaign to connect churches with their community and increase attendance.

Several hours into the events, there was still a sizeable crowd with many children playing at Summerfest, while others picked out the remaining backpacks at Tools 4 School.

Corn said it was a community effort.

“We really appreciate the other churches, businesses and individuals who have donated financially and have donated their time and talent,” she said.