HARRISBURG, August 9, 2013 – Thousands of constituents from the neighborhoods surrounding Norris Square Park attended state Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione’s annual community festival yesterday.

By coordinating numerous sponsors and community partners, Tartaglione was able to personally distribute more than 1,500 backpacks stuffed with back-to-school supplies such as pencils, notebooks and erasers.

Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione  (right) talks about the upcoming school year with constituents at her annual community festivalon Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013.

Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione (right) talks about the upcoming school year with constituents at her annual community festival on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013.

“This event has grown every year and it’s become a tradition in this neighborhood,” Tartaglione said. “With budget cuts to schools across the state and especially in Philadelphia, our community partners were willing to do everything they could to help local children get a head start in school.”

The event also featured free hot dogs, popcorn and water ice, along with family services such as fingerprinting and safety programs.

Eight years ago, when the first community picnic was held in Norris Square Park, 500 children received backpacks that were donated by local organizations.

“The growth has been tremendous,” Tartaglione said. “It’s one of the biggest events of the summer in the region and outstanding community organizations help make it possible and help make it free to the local families.”

Among the volunteers for the event were more than a dozen Philadelphia Police Explorer Cadets who stuffed hundreds of backpacks before the event and helped organize the crowds gathered to receive backpacks.

 

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