Philomath City Park
Philomath City Park (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

Lilly’s Lope for Hope wants to help local kids make the transition back to school. Not only will the organizers be giving away free items but they will also be offering some late-summer fun with a special event.

“A Day of Hope … Back to School” will run from 4-7 p.m. Friday at Philomath City Park.

RELATED: SEE THE EVENT POSTER (Scroll down homepage to find it)

“Remember when Philomath did the Day of Blessing several years ago? I was trying to do something similar to that,” Lilly’s Lope for Hope organizer Paula May said.

The event she was referring to — The Day of Blessing Family Festival — had been an annual late summer event that involved the area’s churches and attracted a number of different individuals and organizations offering free items and services.

“We were going to do free school supplies for all of the kids this year but the school district is paying for all of the school supplies so I got some donations and used some of the Lilly’s Lope money and we went out and bought a bunch of reusable water bottles because I don’t think the kids will be able to have access to the water fountains,” May said, adding that they also picked up some lunch bags to give away.

Going home with free stuff is always enjoyable for the kids but the event will also be offering a lot of fun activities.

“There’s going to be Gnome Nuts with free donuts,” May said. “We’ll have the shaved ice that Jason Bushnell does, that’ll be there for free. We’ll have a bounce house.”

Henna art and skateboard demonstrations will also be featured. And so students can look their best when classes begin Sept. 7, the event will also be offering free haircuts.

A dental services program available through Benton County will be on site as well to give away some items and set up kids that may need appointments.

Build a Better Skatepark, a group that has been advocating for the city to prioritize a renovation of the 21-year-old skatepark facility in Philomath City Park, organized the skateboarding demonstration.

May hopes folks will take advantage of the opportunity, especially since it’s an outdoors event. As far as COVID precautions, May said “you’re welcome to wear a mask but there should be plenty of space to social distance.” Masks, face shields and possibly hand sanitizer will be among the items to be given away.

“I think it should be fun,” May said. “I hope there’s a good turnout.”

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