Back to School Fair is this Saturday

Youth Advocate Esmerelda, right, is joined Wednesday by other youth advocates, LDS missionaries and members of the Safford Lions Club in filling backpacks with school supplies for Saturday's Back to School Fairat the National Guard Armory in Safford on Saturday. - David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central

SAFFORD — Youth advocates, LDS missionaries and members of the Safford Lions Club spent Wednesday morning filling backpacks with school supplies and setting up the National Guard Armory for Saturday’s Back to School Fair.

“And it will be age-appropriate items,” said Chris Gibbs with the Graham County Substance Abuse Coalition. “So we’re going to separate items for young kids (with) smaller backpacks, and teenagers.”

In addition to school supplies, students will receive a voucher for one free set of clothes from either St. Vincent de Paul or Great Communities Resource Center (GCRC), a free vision screening from Safford Lions Club, plus appointments can be made with Canyonlands for sports physicals and immunizations with Graham County Health Department.

To better serve entire families, LifeNet is making available a limited number of free bicycle helmets on a first-come, first-served basis, and 30 car seats. Parents must pre-register for, and participate in, a 30-minutes safety class before receiving the car seat.

“Your child cannot be in the class. That’s the only thing they require, is that your child will no be allowed (in) while you take the safety class,” said Brittany Hernandez with the Graham County Chamber of Commerce.

Call 928-428-2511 to schedule an appointment for the safety class during the fair.

The Back to School Resource Fair takes place Saturday, July 24, from 9 a.m. to noon, and moves to a new location this year — the National Guard Armory, at Armory Road and U.S. Highway 191. Parents or guardians must bring the children with in order to receive backpacks with school supplies, and backpacks will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.

There will also be a non-perishable food drive to benefit the food banks of St. Vincent DePaul and Our Neighbor’s Farm and Pantry.

Sponsors include: United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties, First Things First, Safford Lions Club, Walton Drug, Boys & Girls Club of the Gila Valley, American Legion Swift-Murphy Post 32, St. Vincent DePaul, GCRC, Eastern Arizona Area Health Education Center, LifeNet, Arizona @ Work, Our Neighbor’s Farm and Pantry, Eastern Arizona Courier, Mount Graham Regional Medical Center, Safford City-Graham County Library and GFWC Woman’s Club of Safford.