Our 9th year of Back to School Shopping for Kids wrapped up on Saturday, August 15, 2020. We did not let COVID-19 stop us from fulfilling our largest gift to our community. We feel that these children need to be comfortable, confident, and have good self-esteem to improve their performance in the classroom, and not have them be judged because they do not have appropriate clothing.
Elks, volunteers, Walmart staff and children and their families all wore masks and practice social distancing. Walmart staff sanitized shopping carts and register stations frequently. Least of These, our local Food Pantry, scheduled shoppers 15 minutes apart to aid with adherence to social distancing policy.
Our Missouri Elks State President, Ron Bollinger, his wife, Jean, and his entourage helped take the final 66 children shopping at the Ozark Walmart. This group raised our count to 218 children for a total of $21, 281.35 spent. Not quite what we did last year, but very good considering we were only able to get one ENF Grant totaling $3,500. Walmart Stores donated $5,000 in Grants, Bea Payne Stewart Foundation donated $4,000 in Grants and Allstate Foundation $500 in Grants. The balance was raised by YOU, our wonderful members! A very special Thank You goes out to Mary Angell and Jesse Stalker for bringing in the most donations from community businesses. And, of course, thank you ALL for opening your wallets and your hearts for this very special and rewarding annual event.
By Jerry Fritchman PER, Treasurer
Photos by Jerry and Mike Klinger PER, Leading Knight