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Annual rally helpful to school children

A steady stream of cars lined the campus of Midway Middle School in Midway this past Saturday to receive an assortment of school giveaways as Project Reach GA.N.G. – short for God's Anointed New Generation held its annual back to school rally.

“This is our 23rd year of hosting the annual back-to-school rally,” said Lavonia LeCounte the event coordinator and founder of Project Reach GA.N.G.

She said they had more than 200 cars come through last year and she anticipated a similar turnout this year. She said this is the second year they offered a drive-thru version of the rally due to COVID. Normally the rally is held at Briar Bay Park in Riceboro, but they decided to wait another year before returning to an in-person event.

“The school system was so willing to let us use their grounds,” she said. “We enjoyed it. We loved it so we came back this year. I believe that with all school supplies that will be given out, parents will receive so much that it will carry out for the entire school year. The money they would have spent on school supplies can now be applied to pay bills or buy their children’s clothes for school.”

All types of school related items were handed out. Paper, pens, pencils, notebooks, crayons and even hand sanitizers were handed out to the motorist that drove from station to station at the event. Folks were event given some food items and juice drinks to take home.

“Everything and anything you can think children would need for school was handed out,” LeCounte said.

She said every school was represented and had a booth. She said many local businesses, non-profits and other organizations set up booths to hand out school items as well. She said Diversity Health was onsite doing COVID screenings and offering vaccine shots for those who wanted to get the vaccine shot. Also present were officials from several municipalities, the Fire Department and law enforcement officers.

“I am so overwhelmed,” LeCounte said. “First of all, I must give God the glory for what is taking place today. This is the vision that He gave me back in 1998 and we are carrying it through. I am just amazed at people, even in the midst of a pandemic, that they want to come and help.”

Each year several graduated seniors are awarded a free laptop at the event. Aneysha Mack was one of the lucky winners who said it is one less thing to worry about as she prepares to head out to college. The Bradwell Institute graduate said she and her siblings also received much needed supplies to get them ready for the school year.

“I’m just very grateful,” she said. “It’s amazing. I have an Amazon list as we speak but now, I can take half of the items I needed off that list. It’s also inspirational. To know that we have a community that does stuff like this for children. It is honestly something to look up to.”

VIDEO: 2021 Back-2-school rally

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