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Date: May 18, 2017

Media Contact: Tonya Vaden, Marketing Coordinator                                       
(850) 436-5672

Parks and Recreation to kick off 2nd Annual Operation Backpack Drive in June 

Local schools haven't even released for the summer yet but the City of Pensacola Parks & Recreation Department is already looking ahead to the start of the 2017-18 school year. Several of the City's Neighborhood Resource Centers and community partners are collecting backpacks and school supplies again for the 2nd Annual Operation Backpack drive. This program was started last year to help children and families who struggle to afford these items when school starts.

"Last year we were able to help 93 children go back to school prepared with a full backpack of supplies by collecting donations and supplies at the city's resource centers. Haynes Van & Storage sponsored the event last year and has offered again to store any overflow backpacks and supplies we receive. We are certain with a longer collection time and more community partners, this year's drive will be even more successful," said Molly Mahtani, Program Specialist at Bayview Senior Center and the program's coordinator.  

New backpacks and school supplies will be collected at the resource centers and sponsor locations June 1st through August 4th and then distributed before school starts on August 10th. 

"Our newest partner Skyzone Trampoline Park has offered an incentive to help drive more donations by offering two 30-minute jump passes to families for each full backpack donated throughout the month of July at their Pensacola location," added Mahtani. Heritage Financial is also sponsoring the program monetarily and will collect donations from employees and customers throughout the campaign. 

Anyone can help with Operation Backpack by donating one or more items from the school supply list below at any of the collection sites. Parks and Recreation will also set up a booth at the July 30th Blues on the Bay concert and at the August 4th Hill-Kelly Movie in the Park event to collect donations. 

School Supply List
1 Backpack
1 pkg Washable Markers
1 pkg Colored Pencils
24 No. 2 Pencils
1 Pencil Sharpener
3 Pens
2 Pink Erasers
1 Pencil Box or Pouch
3 Yellow Highlighters
3 Glue Sticks
1 pair 5-inch Scissors
3 Wide Ruled Spiral Notebooks
1 pkg Wide Ruled Composition Notebooks
1 pkg Wide Ruled Paper
5 Twin Pocket Folders
1 Calculator

Collection Sites
Bayview Senior Center, 2000 East Lloyd Street
Cobb Resource Center, 601 East Mallory Street
Fricker Resource Center, 900 North F Street
Gull Point Resource Center, 7000 Spanish Trail
Vickrey Resource Center, 2130 Summit Blvd
Woodland Heights Resource Center, 111 Berkley Drive
Skyzone Trampoline Park, 5007 N. Davis Highway (July 1-31) 

Another way to help the Operation Backpack program is by attending the Ballin' 4 Backpacks fundraiser event to cheer on your favorite high school basketball team on Friday, June 16th and Saturday, June 17th at Vickrey Resource Center.

This two-day event will feature several area high schools in exhibition basketball games to raise money and collect donations for the Operation Backpack cause. Admission to the event is $3 or free with the donation of a new backpack and/or school supplies.

Girls Teams
Pensacola Catholic High School (PCHS)
Crestview High School (CHS)
Gulf Breeze High School (GBHS)
Escambia High Scholl (EHS)

Boys Teams
St. Michael High School (Fairhope, AL) (SMHS)
Pensacola Catholic High School (PCHS)
West Florida High School (WFHS)
Pineforest High School (PFHS)

Friday, June 16th – 6:30-8:30 PM – Game Schedule
6:30 PM – WFHS vs. PFHS - Boys 
7:30 PM – PCHS vs. WFHS – Boys 

Saturday, June 17th – 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM – Game Schedule
10:00 AM – WFHS vs. SMHS - Boys
11:00 AM – PCHS vs. PFHS – Boys
12:00 PM – PCHS vs. SMHS – Boys
1:00 PM - SMHS vs. PFHS – Boys
2:00 PM – GBHS vs. CHS - Girls
2:45 PM – EHS vs. PCHS - Girls
3:30 PM – PCHS vs. GBHS - Girls
4:15 PM – CHS vs. EHS - Girls

To find out how you can get involved please call Molly Mahtani at (850) 436-5190 or visit for more information. 


Gulf Breeze Girls defends Catholic High at 2016 Ballin' 4 Backpacks
Gulf Breeze Girls defends Catholic High at 2016 Ballin' 4 Backpacks
West Florida vs Gulf Breeze High at 2016 Ballin' 4 Backpacks
West Florida vs Gulf Breeze High at 2016 Ballin' 4 Backpacks
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