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Fairmont, West Virginia, hip-hop artist will donate 1,000 backpacks to local students

FAIRMONT, West Virginia (West Virginia News) – With just a few weeks left until the fall semester, local hip-hop artist TK Blockstar teamed up with Palatine Park again to host a free backpack and school supplies event.

The event will take place in the park on August 8. 14 from noon to 17 hours, and those who wish can pick up the goods for free. Blockstar said it will be the fourth year in a row that it has hosted such an event in the city, while the county became part of the operation last year.

“We did other community activities like donating coats and stuff, but I mostly tried to go back to school because of education and encouraged (students) to return to school,” Blockstar said. “I want everyone to freak out to do something for someone else.”

Blockstar said she originally started the program in 2018, returning to Fairmont and seeing the community’s need for school supplies and felt obligated to help. Since its inception, the event has grown to the point that over 1,000 backpacks have been handed out in 2020, and the same number is planned for this year.

“I struggled a lot myself when I was growing up, so when I became an established artist, I had more opportunities to help, so I put my energy into helping children because I feel like they were actually neglected,” Blockstar said … “We started to provide pretty much everything. In the first year, I had a little over 300 backpacks. In the second year, just over 400. After the second year, we knew we couldn’t do it alone, but then (Marion County Administrator) Chris Chinally turned to me and said, “I can see how this is progressing. Let me help. “Everything is working out and we appreciate everything.”

Chinalli, who oversees the events at Palatine Park, said he quickly realized the backpack distribution was a worthy cause and took the following steps to raise the level of the event, leading to the Marion County Commission donating 500 backpacks this year.

“I’ve seen the event grow,” Cinalli said. “There was a need, and I thought it would be nice to have it (in Palatine Park) and turn it into an event so that you don’t have to queue up for a backpack.”

However, Blockstar noted that additional support is still welcome, especially from those looking to donate much-needed school supplies ahead of the event.

“We ask you to donate and get involved because the more people get involved, the more we can help,” Blockstar said. “It’s that simple. … We not only deliver the backpacks, but we also fill them. So if we put a pencil case in each pack, and the pencil case costs $ 1, that’s $ 1,000 per item, so for each (person) who participates it matters to us. “

Blockstar urged those with children in need to stop by Palatine Park in August. 14 to pick up your free backpack and supplies, adding that the entire day will also include many fun activities for the whole family.

“People can come and eat, there will be live music and face painted,” Blockstar said. “This is a public event. … When you arrive, it will be a family matter. We all know that a closed mouth cannot be fed. Put your pride aside and come to your child’s aid. We’re here to help, and that’s what the community does. Everyone needs help. “

Those wishing to donate school supplies can drop off at Ebo’s at Fairmont, 304 Adams St., but are asked to call 304-657-4754 first to determine the appropriate time.

Fairmont News Editor John Mark Shaver can be reached at 304-844-8485 or jshaver@theet.com.


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