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  • 20110806_WUMC_BackToSchool_Bash

    Laura Mueller

    Laura Mueller - Laura Mueller
    Volunteers (L-R) Andrew Smith, Andrea Smith, Michele Jordan, Leslie Wilson, Mary Montazeri, Marjon Montazeri, and Sofia Stanchina. www.lauramuellerphotography.com.
  • 20110806_WUMC_BackToSchool_Bash

    Laura Mueller

    Laura Mueller - Laura Mueller
    Marely Salazar, 3, holds tight to her new books. www.lauramuellerphotography.com
  • 20110806_WUMC_BackToSchool_Bash

    Laura Mueller

    Laura Mueller - Laura Mueller
    Mister Twister created balloon animals and fun shapes for children.
  • 20110806_WUMC_BackToSchool_Bash

    Laura Mueller

    Laura Mueller - Laura Mueller
    Mister Twister created balloon animals and fun shapes fo children.
  • 20110806_WUMC_BackToSchool_Bash

    Laura Mueller

    Laura Mueller - Laura Mueller
    Williamson United Methodist Church's 2nd Annual Back to School Bash featured a petting zoo. www.lauramuellerphotography.com
  • 20110806_WUMC_BackToSchool_Bash

    Laura Mueller

    Laura Mueller - Laura Mueller
    A petting zoo with goats and even a camel provided cuddly fun for youngsters.
  • 20110806_WUMC_BackToSchool_Bash

    Laura Mueller

    Laura Mueller - Laura Mueller
    Williamson United Methodist Church 2nd Annual Back to School Bash provided free school supplies to children in pre-school through 12th grade. www.lauramuellerphotography.com
  • 20110806_WUMC_BackToSchool_Bash

    Laura Mueller

    Laura Mueller - Laura Mueller
    Local authors donated books to give the children at Williamson United Methodist Church's 2nd Annual Back to School Bash. www.lauramuellerphotography.com
  • 20110806_WUMC_BackToSchool_Bash

    Laura Mueller

    Laura Mueller - Laura Mueller
    Local authors donated books to give the children. Each child left with at least four donated books. www.lauramuellerphotography.com
  • 20110806_WUMC_BackToSchool_Bash

    Laura Mueller

    Laura Mueller - Laura Mueller
    School supplies at the Williamson United Methodist Church 2nd Annual Back to School Bash. www.lauramuellerphotography.com
  • 20110806_WUMC_BackToSchool_Bash

    Laura Mueller

    Laura Mueller - Laura Mueller
    Williamson United Methodist Church's 2nd Annual Back to School Bash. www.lauramuellerphotography.com
  • 20110806_WUMC_BackToSchool_Bash

    Laura Mueller

    Laura Mueller - Laura Mueller
    Williamson United Methodist Church 2nd Annual Back to School Bash attracted more than 700 volunteers and thousands of families.
  • 20110806_WUMC_BackToSchool_Bash

    Laura Mueller

    Laura Mueller - Laura Mueller
    Cora Alleman, 11, volunteered through her church, The Cove, to give out school supplies. www.lauramuellerphotography.com
  • 20110806_WUMC_BackToSchool_Bash

    Laura Mueller

    Laura Mueller - Laura Mueller
    Williamson United Methodist Church 2nd Annual Back to School Bash attracted more than 700 volunteers and thousands of families to a day of community service and fun that provided free school supplies to children.
  • 20110806_WUMC_BackToSchool_Bash

    Laura Mueller

    Laura Mueller - Laura Mueller
    Cristy Wagner, a member of Rocky Mount United Methodist Church, talks to school children as she gives out school supplies.
  • 20110806_WUMC_BackToSchool_Bash

    Laura Mueller

    Laura Mueller - Laura Mueller
    (L-R) Volunteers Lauren Gottberg, 15, and Carolyn Armstrong serve burgers and hotdogs. www.lauramuellerphotography.com
  • 20110806_WUMC_BackToSchool_Bash

    Laura Mueller

    Laura Mueller - Laura Mueller
    The last stop of the day included an assortment of bouncy houses, a petting zoo, Mr. Twisty the balloon man, volleyball, cotton candy and pretzels.
  • 20110806_WUMC_BackToSchool_Bash

    Laura Mueller

    Laura Mueller - Laura Mueller
    Children wind up the day with fun at Williamson United Methodist Church's 2nd Annual Back to School Bash.
  • 20110806_WUMC_BackToSchool_Bash

    Laura Mueller

    Laura Mueller - Laura Mueller
    Children wind up the day with fun and an assortment of bouncy houses. www.lauramuellerphotography.com

Williamson's Chapel Back to School Bash

By Laura Mueller

Posted: Monday, Aug. 15, 2011

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Laura Mueller

Laura Mueller

Lake Norman resident Laura Mueller has been a photojournalist for more than 25 years, doing work for The Charlotte Observer, The Duke Endowment, Lake Norman Magazine, SouthPark Magazine, The Washington Post, The New York Post and many other publications. Her many awards have included being named NC Press Photographer of the Year. Find her at www.lauramuellerphotography.com.

Editor's note: Mooresville photographer and writer Laura Mueller has been visiting events around the Lake Norman region as the regular Social Scene columnist for Lake Norman Magazine for nearly a year, compiling amazing photographic slideshows (see a sampling of them on our Galleries page). Now, we're converting her visits and photos into a blog. Keep checking back regularly for her updates from around the region!

Marely Salazar, 3, held her new book tight as her 5th grade brother, Brandon, talked about his favorite history books. The siblings were at the start of their trek through The 2nd Annual Community Back to School Bash held at Williamson’s Chapel United Methodist Church earlier this month.

More than 750 volunteers from over a dozen area churches gave their time, service, and smiles to at least 2,700 school age children and their families as they collected free school supplies.

The community of volunteers included a multitude of religious denominations, corporate sponsors and individuals from the community.

Pastor Andrea Smith, of WC’s West Campus, was inspired by a similar event she came across two years ago in Dallas, TX. She brought it home. Last year’s 1st Annual Bash served 2,000 children.

“It may be held here at Williamson Chapel, but it’s the whole community working together to make it happen.” says Smith. Her goal was not only to serve the children but to involve the whole community to serve, donate and receive.

Volunteers handed out back packs at the start of the journey. Children filled their packs with crayons, pencils, pens, erasers, notebooks and everything else on the back to school list.

Cristy Wagner and her son Gus, 12, volunteered together. “It’s so rewarding to see these children,” she said, adding: “I hope you have a great time at school this year!” as rising-kindergartner walked by.

The next stop in the elementary wing added a small collection of books to their backpacks.Those in need of shoes gathered in both the chapel and the sanctuary for a fitting and new sneakers supplied at a reduced rate by Samaritan’s Feet.

Over 50 stylists from the community gave back-to-school haircuts in the music wing and preschool classrooms. It took lots of plastic to cover the furniture but it was worth it to see so many children happy with their new haircuts.

After collecting school supplies families picnicked in the parking lot compliments of Ted’s Kickin Chicken. The last stop of the day at the youth center included nine bouncy houses, graciously powered by SunBelt Rentals, a petting zoo, volley ball, cotton candy and pretzels. Back to school fun!

“We have had such a cross section of support,” says Bash ’11 leader Leslie Wilson. “I am so proud to live in this town.”

For more information:

www.williamsonschapel.org

www.bash11.com

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