Lexington-Richland School District Five welcomed the community to its inaugural Back to School Bash August 19, handing out hundreds of school supplies, samples of pizza and chicken fingers and much more.

“We continue to create firsts in School District Five and this is just another way to reach out to our community and help get our community excited about starting the school year off in the right direction,” said School District Five Student Nutrition Director Todd Bedenbaugh. “We were expecting a couple hundred people today and ended the event serving more than 500 people.”

The event at Saluda Shoals featured giveaways, eye exams, face painting and games. It was sponsored by several groups.

Smart Mouth served as a sponsor. The company’s pizza is served in School District Five schools and continues to be a partner of the district.

“School District Five has been very good to us and sells a lot of pizza in their schools so we wanted to partner with them for the Back to School Bash to show how much we appreciate all their hard work,” said Tom Willingham, Smart Mouth President and Chief. “We use a portion of what we sell in the schools to supply free meals to kids outside of schools. Last year, School District Five was responsible for 100,000 meals that Smart Mouth was able to give away.”

Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative Public Relations Coordinator Lacy Ridgell said, “We decided to sponsor and come out and give teachers and students a welcome back treat. Mid-Carolina is really dedicated to the schools and we have several programs we provide to the districts across the area and we just think it is great what School District Five is doing for the community.”

Children of all ages attended the Back to School Bash with their grandparents and parents including Sue Ouzts who brought her three children.

“We saw the event posted on Facebook and thought it would be a great activity to do to wrap up the summer and gear up for the new school year ahead. It is definitely something we would do again next year,” Ouzts said.

Grandparent Catherine Spencer added, “I am having a ball. I think it is a great opportunity for everyone to get out and meet each other and see what is going on in the community while also showing support for the school district.”

The Back to School Bash was an inaugural event, but School District Five Superintendent Dr. Christina Melton said this is an event the district plans to continue in the years to come.

“The Back to School Bash is a time to get families engaged with us, to build relationships and to help them get ready for school,” Melton said. “It gives me #Pridein5 to see kids having fun and getting the school supplies they need.”