Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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May 7, 2014

Fall rally begins planning stages

Corsicana — The Back to School/Stay to School committee is well on its way towards being ready for the next rally, already on the calendar for Aug. 16.

This is the eighth year for the annual event designed to help parents get kids ready for school, and generate excitement among students in the county.

Last year’s event attracted about 3,500 people, according to co-chairman Alvis Reeves. The Back to School rally has become a regular item on the annual community calendar, he said. That has also meant more support. In those first few years, it was a struggle to get people interested in the rally.

The 2013 rally was the largest ever, possibly because it was held for the first time at the I.O.O.F. Event Center. Air conditioning in August is always a plus.

“The main change is getting indoors,” Reeves said. “We’ve always been bothered by the heat and sometimes the rain, if you can believe it in August.”

There’s also more collaboration. Aware of the crowds the rally draws in both parents and kids, more companies have asked for booths at the rally, although the organizers would prefer to have more Boy and Girl Scouts or church youth groups than merchants. There’s room for about 65 booths in all.

“We had about 60 groups there last year,” said Elmeree Burrell, co-chair of the committee. “We’re trying to cater to youth groups and we don’t have enough. I’d like to see more youth groups participate.”

First Baptist, First United Methodist, the Boys and Girls Club, the Boy Scouts and Mary Peterson had booths last year, but that was about it, Burrell said.

Attractions to the rally are the door prizes, which range from gift certificates for school clothes, to Kindle Fire tablets, but also a helicopter, race cars and fire trucks.

In years past, they committee has had keynote speakers at the rally, but this year they’re planning a video of some notable graduates from CHS, to show kids they can be successful after graduation.

—————

Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com.

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