UPDATE: MADISON (WKOW)-- Back to school is an expensive time of year for parents, but the group 100 Black Men is working to ease that burden by providing school supplies at the Backpacks For Success picnic.
The Cannon family arrived at the picnic an hour early and joined a long line of people who showed up even earlier.
“It was a long wait but it was worth the wait,” said Daniel Cannon.
Each of the three Cannon boys, Joshua, Isaac and Daniel, got a free backpack
“I'm very thankful for it,” said Joshua, a 14-year-old about to start high school. “It helps my parents also because they have spent a lot of money for us.”
And the kids are getting more than just this backpack, inside there's all kinds of school supplies they'll need for their first day.
“It's very expensive and at these times right now, with the economy, a lot of different issues, it's kinda hard and this takes a load off,” said Quinton Cannon, the boys’ father.
More than 2000 people showed up, one of the biggest turnouts in the events 18 year history.
“We know it's a challenge,” said Chris Canty, the organizer of the event and member of 100 Black Men Madison. “There's a need out there for help with supplies, those lists keep getting bigger and bigger.”
And while it helps ease costs for parents, it helps get kids excited to return to the classroom.
“I'm looking forward to meeting my new teacher and my new friends and learning a lot of stuff,” said 9-year-old Daniel.
“I wanna get straight A's. I wanna get a scholarship this year, so I'm gonna work pretty hard,” Joshua said. “I wanna succeed in life and be a role model for my younger brothers.”
To donate to next year’s Backpacks for Success or to volunteer, click here.
*****MADISON (WKOW)— Area kids got a jump start on back to school shopping Saturday, thanks to Backpacks for Success, a program run by the Madison chapter of 100 Black Men. The group handed out hundreds of backpacks stuffed with school supplies.
More than 2000 people showed up at Demetral Park for the event, lining up a couple of hours before the event even started.
In addition to the school supplies, there was food for everyone in attendance and a wellness tent with tips on back to school health.
We’ll have details about the event tonight on 27 News at 6 and 27 News at 10.