About 1,000 students and parents packed the main building at the Pike County Fairgrounds on Saturday, Aug. 15 for the annual Back-To-School Fair.
The fair put on by the Pike County Connections group of area organizations that works with children gave out about 630 backpacks filled with school supplies, according to event chairman Katherine Branstetter.
“Every year it’s become better,” Branstetter said Monday, Aug. 17. “We spent right at $10,000 for school supplies and backpacks. It’s not income based, but the majority of people who came needed the help.”
Donations and grants pay for the fair, which featured 30 booths this year staffed by organizations and resource groups.
Pike County Memorial Hospital did about 160 vision and hearing screenings and dental screenings were also done.
“We had six people cutting hair (for free) and the did about 95 haircuts,” Branstetter said.
The fair started six years ago after Branstetter brought the idea to Pike County after seeing a similar one in Hannibal.
“It helps a lot of people,” Branstetter said. “We found out that teachers were having to buy school supplies for their students,” and that helped get the fair going as well.
Michael Hill of Bowling Green was there with his children.
“This is awesome,” Hill said. “It really helps the community. You can’t thank them enough.”
Ron Turner had a clown outfit on and was tying animal balloons he was giving out to students.
“It’s just great, this is my fourth year, Turner said.
“We come every year, said Anthoney Capps, who was there with his son, Christopher Capps, 4, and daughter Trinnity Capps, 3.
The Pike County Retired Teachers served free hot dogs, chips, and water donated by County Market.
“We went through 900 hot dogs and we didn’t have any food left,” Branstetter said.