Annual Good Hope Back 2 School Bash fills Municipal Park


Jobe Pruett,8, charges through the slip n' slide during Good Hope's Back 2 School Bash Thursday afternoon. (Nick Griffin for The Tribune)

GOOD HOPE – Good Hope’s annual Back 2 School Bash saw an excited crowd fill the City’s Municipal Park Thursday afternoon, with kids of all ages and their families enjoying free food, inflatables, a slip n' slide, door prizes, color run and more.

Good Hope City Councilman Greg Brown said the City is always happy to help give area kids a fun time before the new school year gets started.

“This is our seventh annual Back 2 School Bash. We love to have the kids a little party before school starts back. We will have something for all ages and hope that everyone that comes out has a blast,” Brown said. “This event is made possible by donations received from the businesses in our community. We do not charge the parents anything. When the community donates money, we plan these free events for our citizens to enjoy. A big thank you to all of our event sponsors and volunteers for making this event possible.”

Good Hope High School Student Government Association (SGA) Secretary Hanna Hancock was on-hand for the event and touched on how much the event means for her and the schools.

“It’s really big for us. Me and (SGA member) Chrissi Smith have just been out here seeing these kids get ready for school and smile, it just warms our hearts,” Hancock said. “We worked the color run a little while ago and seeing them do that was just great fun. Both of these outfields are full of kids, so that’s pretty good, and the weather is just great. Not too hot and not too cool. They got the splash pads out for the kids; this has turned out great.”

Good Hope Mayor Jerry Bartlett helped grill hot dogs and do some emcee work for the event. He talked about the community support that makes this event happen every year.

“I can’t remember if this is the seventh or eighth time we’ve done this, but I was on the council back when we started this several years ago, and we go out and get donations from our local businesses to put it on. Then we give away a free T-shirt, food, we’ve got several door prizes and toys and school supplies and the businesses all pay for this. We do several things during the year like feeding 1,200-1,500 people during Thanksgiving and we do Christmas in the Park, and all of this is free for our community because we went out and got donations from our businesses. We have great support from our businesses and we appreciate all of them. That’s what makes this happen, and people just love it.”

Bartlett and the City added a new feature to this year’s Bash as well, one that will allow parents to hold onto images of their children from the event.

“One thing we added this year is we’ve got a couple of professional photographers and they’re taking back to school pictures of kids getting on the school bus. The other photographer is just walking around taking pictures and what we’re going to do is upload them to the City of Good Hope web page,” Bartlett said. “Then, if people see a photo of their child that they really like, they can send us their email and we’ll send them a digital picture and it won’t cost them anything.”

Bartlett continued, bragging on the City employees who most contributed to this year’s successful event.

“Greg Brown is our community service guy on the council and he did a lot of legwork on this. For our Assistant City Clerk Lori Leusby, this is her first year to put this on and she’s just done great. She came up with the Fun Run where they splash the powder on everybody and she came up with school bus pictures so we’re really proud of Lori, she did a great job. Her and Greg both went out to talk to the businesses and pick up door prizes and stuff like that.

“I don’t know how many people are here, but there’s a lot. We got a perfect day. We thought we were going to get rained out and that never works out good, but we’ve got a lot for them to do here today on both fields,” Bartlett continued. “The parents like to come and eat and watch the kids and we’ve got the SGA and some other clubs here. They come help and they can get community service points and if they get so many during their four years of high school, you get to wear a cord for graduation. We just have great community support.”

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