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Salvation Army's bash offers school supplies, backpacks, haircuts

Having been equipped Saturday with a new backpack and school supplies, Tyler Garver is prepared to return to school.

But that doesn't mean the shy 9-year-old from Tarentum is eager to get back in the classroom.

Tyler, who will enter fourth grade at Grandview Elementary School in the Highlands School District, indicated he's not too happy about his summer coming to an end.

Through a series of "yes" and "no" answers, Tyler expressed his excitement in getting new gear for school and in enjoying himself at yesterday's back-to-school bash hosted by Allegheny Valley Salvation Army in Brackenridge.

He and dozens of other children and their families spent a few hours celebrating the end of the summer break at the Salvation Army along Brackenridge Avenue. Among other things, the kids had the chance to get a free haircut, dental checkup and stuff backpacks with school supplies.

The third annual event is held in honor of Paul Field, who died in 2008 and used to supply children in need with supplies such as notebooks and pencils for school.

"This has grown every year and that makes us feel happy," said Field's widow, Georgetta.

"We can't wait until this gets so big that we have to block off an entire street," said Field's daughter, Megan.

Tyler Garver's mother, Peggi, said she appreciates the help offered by the Salvation Army and the families and groups supporting the event.

"This means a lot because, as a single mother, I struggle to always buy or supply my three kids with everything they need," she said.

"There isn't any kid who should have to go to school without these supplies," Salvation Army Capt. Rickie Armour said. "We do this so they can focus on what they need to do to achieve in the classroom, rather than worry about what it is they don't have."

Additional Information:

How to help

To donate or volunteer for the annual Allegheny Valley Salvation Army back-to-school bash, contact Capt. Rickie Armour at 724-224-6310.

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