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City Fest helps prep students

Church will provide students in need with supplies, clothes, haircuts

PHOTO COURTESY OF SCAPPOOSE FOURSQUARE CHURCH - Volunteers from the Scappoose Foursquare Church hand out cotton candy during the second annual City Fest event in 2014. Attendees can get school supplies and backpacks and enjoy live music and free food at this year's event on Saturday, Aug. 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.Scappoose Foursquare Church will host its fourth annual City Fest on Saturday, Aug. 27, to help students get prepared for the first day back to school.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, volunteers from the church will help hand out backpacks filled with school supplies, give away new and gently used clothing, and provide free haircuts for students of all ages to help them get ready for a new school year.

City Fest is about more than just providing school supplies, Scappoose Foursquare Church lead pastor Daniel Schmoll said. Saturday’s festivities will include live music by alternative country band Samsel and the Skirt, free food and a variety of activities and games for children.

What started as an idea for a community service project has grown over the years to become an outreach program for the church as well, Schmoll said. Reaching out to members of the public from across Columbia County is a way to help students in need, as well as build friendly relationships.

“The point is just to reach out and let them know we care and we love them,” Schmoll said. “And we want to express our concern and the love of Jesus for them.”

Many of the supplies for City Fest are donated by members of the church, but often more supplies are needed to fill backpacks before they’re given away. This year, Schmoll estimated the church spent close to $3,500 to fill the 150 bags.

While the community need will always be greater than what the church can afford to supply, Schmoll said, with limited resources the church must set some sort of budgetary limit each year of how many students it can help.

Being able to help many children in Columbia County year after year, however, is worth the effort, and one of the reasons the church keeps hosting City Fest each summer, Schmoll said.

“Because kids are the future, and if nobody is advocating for them and their resources are already limited, we want to show them that they’re not forgotten and we care about them,” Schmoll said.

Due to ongoing construction work in Heritage Park, the church will host the back-to-school event at Scappoose Foursquare Church rather than in the park for the first time this year. Despite the change in venue, event orgnizers are looking forward to hosting the event this weekend.

“We would just love for everyone to come out and enjoy the time together,” Schmoll added.

If you go

  • What: City Fest
  • Where: Scappoose Foursquare Church, 33404 SW JP West Road
  • When: 10 a.m. to 3.p.m., Saturday, Aug. 27
  • Info: All children in kindergarten through grade 12 in Columbia County are invited to attend. Students must be in attendance to receive the school supplies.