The line typically begins forming at or just before dawn for the annual Back to School Fair, and event organizers expect this year to be no different.

The 15th Annual Back to School Fair is set for Saturday, July 13 in the Multipurpose room on the campus of Benson Unified School District. Doors open at 8 a.m.

The fair provides students with free school supplies donated by local businesses, service organizations and individuals. Organized by Hope for Kids, Inc., the nonprofit organization is dedicated to assisting the families of children in foster care as well as children who live in the San Pedro Valley that could use a little extra help.

Normally some 400 school children take advantage of the school supply distribution, where kids are provided with such essentials as new backpacks, spiral and composition notebooks, binders, pencils, paper, glue sticks and much more from a variety of vendors.

For the first 10 years, the fair was held at Lions Park, but was shifted to the multipurpose building. The venue change allows organizers to get set up the day before the event, while providing a nice heat respite.

Event organizers are pumped for the upcoming event.

“We are excited to host the 15th annual Back to School Fair,” said Leisa Johnson, Hope For Kids president. “We have many vendors coming out to help us hand out supplies and provide information to the community about their companies and services. ...We encourage everyone to bring water and umbrellas for shade as they wait in line. ...We have 400 backpacks ready to give out to children who need them in our community,” she said, noting students must be present to receive a backpack.

Supplies are distributed while they last. This marks the fifth year Hope For Kids has hosted the Back to School Fair, noted Johnson while adding donations can always be used.

“...They can drop off [school supplies] at DiPeso Realty Property Management Office, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or email or call me at 520-254-3634 to coordinate drop off of supplies. We always need paper, notebooks, pens, pencils, glue, glue sticks, erasers, tissues, scissors, and binders for high school students, etc. Business that would like to provide information and give out supplies can still contact us for a vendor table.”

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