Concert to collect school supplies

Published 11:18 pm Friday, July 29, 2011

The Suffolk Summer Slam is coming up at the end of August, and a school supply drive at the event will benefit children throughout the area.

The youth concert, sponsored by Impact Suffolk, will be held Aug. 27 from 1 to 8 p.m. at Bennett’s Creek Park. Besides a number of bands, the event will feature free hot dogs and fun activities including cornhole and volleyball tournaments, a balloon sling competition and more.

More importantly, attendees are asked to bring a school supply to benefit the Salvation Army’s school supply drive.

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“We’re already had clients coming to us to ask if we’re going to do school supplies this year,” said Janet Cowan, an accountant at the Salvation Army. “Most of them just can’t afford it. It takes a burden off of these families.”

Cowan said the Salvation Army annually collects school supplies from donors every year and provides the supplies to those who meet income requirements. They try to supply every child with a backpack and the supplies to fill it.

“We don’t have the funds to put a lot of money into the school supplies,” she said. “We can use anything.”

Okpun Langley, a member of Impact Suffolk, said the event will be important for people who attend as well as children who receive the supplies.

“It is very important because there are so many youth out there during summertime that have no idea what they’re doing,” Langley said. “They are lost. Before they go back to school, we want to let them know they are loved, that we love them and most of all Christ loves them.”

Langley said the event will bring the community together for the school supply drive.

Last year’s event drew about 800 to 900 people to the park throughout the day. The organization is hoping for about 1,500 participants this year, she said.

“There will be a lot of fun stuff out there,” she said. “I hope everyone will check out what we have and who we are.”

Anyone unable to attend the Suffolk Summer Slam still can donate school supplies. They should be dropped off at the Salvation Army headquarters at 400 Bank St.

For more information about the Summer Slam, visit