In the spirit of typical La Porte community pride, fashioned in a well-organized and upbeat event, community members gathered for the fifth annual Rock the Block event to ensure that no matter how children in La Porte return to school this year, they have the supplies they need for a healthy start to the academic year.
Sponsored by American Licorice Company, Bethany Lutheran Church, and Door Village Church, and supported by dozens of volunteers including Joy Zigler with the La Porte Jaycees, the event was organized in drive-through fashion whereby families could pick up backpacks full of school supplies from happy volunteers smiling behind their protective masks.
The massive turnout was well supported by traffic control provided by La Porte City Police and Fire – a welcome and fitting response from the city whose motto this year has been La Porte Proud. Rock 106.5 La Porte promoted the event to ensure that the block, in fact, continued to rock on.
The mission of Rock the Block is to provide students with free, essential school supplies. Leading up to the event, volunteers purchased backpacks and filled them thanks to monetary and supply donations from likeminded businesses, individuals, and organizations. At the event, volunteers distributed the backpacks filled with school supplies, candy, hand sanitizers, and vegetable assortments to families with students in grades kindergarten through 12.
“I love seeing the excitement on the kids’ faces,” said American Licorice Company volunteer Tennille Spikes. “Especially during this triumphant time we are all trying to get through.”
Although it was not a traditional Rock the Block celebration, the turn out this year stood out.
“I see we’ve already run out of some backpacks today,” said Reverend Dennis Meyer of Bethany Lutheran Church. “This drive-through event is really turning out to be successful.”
The drive-through made the supply pick-up an easier process for busy families who are not able to participate in what would have been a day-long affair. Organizers are viewing this year’s event as a possible style for the future.
Another volunteer, Charlotte Dodson, was looking forward to giving back to the community at a time like this.
“It’s nice to see everyone’s faces. I think it’s been very difficult, especially on the kids,” Dodson said. “Getting them out, getting them treats, and getting them ready for the next school year is what we’re here to do.”
The idea of community was shared among participants, volunteers, and sponsors alike. Spikes said events like these are what American Licorice Company is all about.
“American Licorice is a great company. We work with our community in more ways than one across La Porte,” she said.
When asked what Dodson wanted participants to take away from this year’s Rock the Block, her answer was simple.
“We’re the La Porte community. We make it together.”
To learn more about American Licorice Company’s community involvement, visit their website: www.americanlicorice.com.