On Thursday, Aug. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m., the Noah Webster House in West Hartford hosted the inaugural ‘Backpack Bash’ to collect backpacks to donate to the Town That Cares Fund.
By Gillian Hixson
The Noah Webster House teemed with families and friends Thursday evening, enjoying live music, drinks, and food at the inaugural Backpack Bash.
The cost of attendance at the event was either a backpack or a monetary donation – both of which will be support the Town That Cares Fund. The backpacks that were collected will immediately find their way into the hands of students at the Town That Cares’ annual backpack donation event on Aug. 22.
The event was sponsored by several local businesses, including Keating Agency Insurance, WHsquared, Maximum Beverage, and Eat IN Connecticut.
Ryan Keating of Keating Agency Insurance said the goal of the event was to collect 100 backpacks. However, at the start of the Backpack Bash, Keating said he believed the goal had already been surpassed.
About 60 people had pre-registered for the event online and in the afternoon before the event even began, Keating said a donation of 30 backpacks had already been dropped off.
Keating is credited as the brain behind the event, yet claimed he only “put the right people together.”
“Growing up, I always looked forward to starting a new school year, new clothes, new friends, and I have fond memories of going shopping for school supplies with my mom, brother, and sister,” Keating told We-Ha.com earlier.
However, Keating pointed out that there is a statewide misconception that West Hartford students have everything they need to start a new school year off right. Through this event, Keating hoped to combat that misconception.
The event featured live music by Band2, fun outdoor and indoor seating, as well as booths featuring local businesses.
Attendees could purchase raffle tickets and try their chance at winning prizes. Prizes included tickets to a Red Sox game, a box of Keating Insurance golf balls, a gift certificate to Maximum Beverage, tickets to a Mets game, Lyman Orchard corn maze tickets, and tickets to trivia night at the Noah Webster House.
As the sun set, attendees milled around outside, exploring the different tables and listening to Band2 play covers of age-old songs. Inside the Noah Webster House, kids ran around exploring the different rooms and exhibits as parents and other guests socialized over delicious treats.
Cilantro lime shrimp with a citrus crema from the David Alan Hospitality Group; chicken and rice from the Rockin’ Chicken; colorful, sprinkled cookies by Lindsay Culinary LLC; and a watermelon and cucumber salad from Noble and Co. were just a few of the food offerings at the event. Maximum Beverage provided beverages as well.
State Representative Derek Slap even made an appearance as the event progressed. Keating said that a more accurate tally of the final number of backpacks collected would be available the morning following the event.
For those who were unable to attend the event but are still interested in making a donation, Keating Agency Insurance (10 Arapahoe Rd., West Hartford), Maximum Beverage (Bishops Corner Shopping Center in West Hartford and Farmington locations), and the Noah Webster House (227 South Main St., West Hartford) will continue to accept backpacks and gift cards to Target and Walmart through August 21.
Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Ha’s newsletter so you’ll always be in the know about what’s happening in West Hartford!