Over 60 businesses will fill east Auburn's Airport Plaza shopping center tomorrow to give families a morning of carnival fun while also fundraising a shoe donation drive for local children and children internationally in Honduras.
Cornerstone Family Chiropractic will host its 11th annual Back 2 School Bash tomorrow, Saturday, Aug. 21, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. in partnership with Samaritans Feet, a North Carolina-based nonprofit that provides shoes to children in need of footwear domestically and internationally.
"This is an outdoor carnival that's open and free to the public," said Rachel Wicks, community relations director for Cornerstone Family Chiropractic. "[Samaritans Feet] supplies all the shoes and team from their charity to come down and help us host an outreach where the shoes can be given out."
Wicks said visitors can expect shopping booths, inflatables, a train ride and food vendors to appear at the bash. She named Drive-by Tacos, Marco's Pizza, Frios Gourmet Pops, Kona Ice and Franky June's Weeny Wagon as a taste of the food vendors featuring at the event both local and national.
"All those businesses plus all of our patients here have been donating funds towards the shoes, so right now we're at 1,010 pairs of shoes," Wicks said.
The bash will also include entertainment like the University's Tiger Paws dance team, ACE Cheer Company of Auburn, local musicians and an appearance from Aubie, according to Wicks.
Wicks said CFC began working with Samaritans Feet for the 10th Back 2 School Bash last year in the wake of the pandemic as the office thought about financially challenged parents who might not be able to afford new shoes for their children.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
"That just came after having a conversation ... [that] we're in a world we never thought we'd find ourselves in," she said. "[We thought], 'What can we do to get a very tangible thing into people's hands?' So that's where the whole idea of the shoes came from."
Wicks said CFC already hit this year's fundraising goal of $25,000 but is still receiving donations online and hopes to raise more tomorrow at the bash. This year's donation drive aims to send at least 500 pairs of shoes to children in the Auburn-Opelika area and at least 500 pairs to children at the San Pedro Sula Dream Center in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, according to CFC's campaign page.
"Every dollar over that it's just more pairs of shoes," she said. "Last year we did give out all of the shoes, but that one day of the outreach, 400 families came to receive. Our record is 1,027 pairs so we will definitely beat that."
Raffle packages will also be given out to attendees to help fundraise that include prizes like a free bowling night at GoodTimes Bowling, a backpack filled with school supplies and free lessons at Mathnasium.
"I would encourage people come out, walk around and enjoy it — you'll be glad you did," Wicks said.
The Back 2 School Bash will be held at Airport Plaza from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturday at 323 Airport Rd. in Auburn, where Cornerstone Family Chiropractic's office is located. Those interested in donating to CFC's fundraising effort online may visit the campaign page here.
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman