The campus of Grand Avenue Teen Challenge of Arizona buzzed with milling families, playing children, and happy canines during the 8th Annual Back to School Bash on July 15, 2017. The free family event hosted a cookout, live band, and hip hop dance group. But the star attraction was the backpack full of free school supplies handed out to every child in attendance.
Hundreds of residents from around the Grand Avenue (Phoenix) location turned out to take advantage of the social event. The cookout consisted of hamburgers and hot dogs generously grilled by the Phoenix Fire Department. We suppose if anyone is accustomed to standing over intense heat on a July afternoon, it would be our hardworking firefighters who smiled and laughed like it wasn’t a million degrees outside! Also included were bags of snack chips, sliced watermelon, and ice cold water happily served by Teen Challenge Arizona volunteers beneath shade canopies covering more than half of the campus’s open area.
Reverend Snow Peabody, the Teen Challenge of Arizona’s Executive State Director, and Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas helped Teen Challenge staff and volunteers greet the families and hand out backpacks. Superintendent Douglas thanked the attendees for their dedication to their children’s education and future success, before letting them get back to the day’s entertainment and meal. However, Arizona’s monsoon season is fickle and soon dark skies rearranged the day’s schedule. Families and volunteers alike enjoyed visiting and eating while they sheltered from the weather. Despite both the heat and the rain, Teen Challenge volunteers made sure every child in attendance received their much-needed school supplies.