Seventeen years ago, in 1995, State Representative Elizabeth Coggs had a dream! Her dream was to provide school supplies to children of low-income families struggling to make ends meet. The name was the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Back-to-School Picnic. With her family as volunteers, the 1st Back-to-School festival drew about 200 people to King Park. She gave away about 100 plastic bags stuffed with school supplies that her family had purchased. About 300 hundred hot dogs were given away.
Two tables, ten chairs and no tents was set-up in the park. The King Advisory Board, Inc works diligently throughout the year to keep that dream alive.
Last year, over 20,000 people attended the festival, 5000 book bags, filled with 13,000 pocket folders, 13,000 theme books, 12,000 pencils, 6,000 glue sticks, 5,000 rulers, and 5000 crayons were distributed! 5000 hotdogs were made; tons of chicken, brats, hamburgers, nachos, and corn on the cob were sold. 25 large tents, hundreds of volunteers, vendors, and sponsors donated time and money to make a little dream become a big reality.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Back-to-School Festival celebrates its 17th Anniversary giving back to the community. Because of the down economy, now, more than ever, Milwaukee County residents need this type of family-oriented, community celebration. Dreams are Possible… Building Future Leaders through Education.
Kaylynn Blackwell, President of King Advisory Board, Inc. is inviting all Milwaukee County residents to attend the kick-off celebration on Tuesday, June 23 rd , from 5:00pm-7:30 p.m., at Gene’s Lanes and Lounge 6515 W. Fond du Lac Avenue. The kick-off event will feature food, door prizes, and residents can sign up to be volunteers at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Back-to-School Festival. More than 400 volunteers are needed and vendor sign-up forms will also be available.
For more information, contact Kaylynn Blackwell at (414) 899-5573. This year’s Back-to-School festival is scheduled for Saturday, August 6, 2011 at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Park, located at 1531 W. Vliet Street in Milwaukee.
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