The 17th annual Back to School Rally is expected to have a large turnout again this year.
The rally, hosted by Project Reach G.A.N.G. (God’s Anointed Now Generation), will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, along with a concert at 6 p.m. Sunday, at the Riceboro Youth Center.
It will be a weekend full of fun activities, games, food, singing and motivational speakers getting the community excited about education and the next school year. The theme for this year’s rally is “Shifting into My Purpose III — Transformation.”
“Overall, the total person will be blessed on that day,” said Lavonia LeCounte, the executive director and founder of G.A.N.G. “I’m excited because of the wealth of knowledge that will be given out that day.”
On Saturday, there will be horseback riding, physical-education activities and a waterslide.
“We encourage parents, when they come, to bring a change of clothes because the kids will have a ball,” LeCounte said.
The Liberty County Health Department will have stations set up to provide health screenings. They will take place inside the youth center so the elderly can avoid the heat.
Lunch is always free at the rally. In addition to having hot dogs and hamburgers, barbecue will be sold. LeCounte said barbecue will be the only thing for sale at the rally; everything else will be free.
Vendor tables will be set up outside the center, where attendees can get information educational programs, health insurance, churches and clubs.
LeCounte said that a lot of people are coming to help with the event.
“Even our school system has jumped on board,” she said. “Cheerleaders from Bradwell (Institute) are going to be there, and both football teams. They’re coming just to support and help wherever they’re needed. Third (Infantry Division) is on board, the (Liberty County) sheriff’s department and (Georgia) State Patrol — everyone is pitching in to help out.”
After the program is over, LeCounte will call for everyone to pick up their free school supplies. G.A.N.G. and the vendors will hand out backpacks and school supplies to the attendees. The lines for supplies usually are long, but many find they are worth the wait. LeCounte always asks that vendors use funds that would normally go toward booth space to purchase school supplies.
The rally concert will be Sunday evening. There will be music from the G.A.N.G. mass choir; Full Gospel Tabernacle Church of God in Christ choir; Chosen, a singing group from Vidalia; and others.
The rally will be held at the Riceboro Youth Center, 5649 S. Coastal Highway. For more information, contact LeCounte at 912-977-3951 or firstname.lastname@example.org.