Donation will cover 10 percent of need

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By John Barnhart

    The Bedford Business Leads Group purchased 35 back packs and stuffed them with school supplies. Karen Hughes, of the Bedford County Department of Social Services, said that she has received 350 applications from parents for back-to-school supplies for children.

    “This is the most we have ever had,” Hughes said.
    The Business Leads group had collected $400 from its members and the Bank of Fincastle pitched in an additional $300. The group had lists from county schools describing what children would need.
    “We tried to find supplies that were most common among schools,” said Eddie Sitzler, president of the Bedford Leads Group.
    Sitzler said that Liz Brown, of Rapid Printing and a member of the group, handled all the supply purchasing. Everybody donated pens.
    Brown also helped with the backpacks.
    “Liz called Wal-Mart and got them to send them [the backpacks] to us for $12,” commented Vicky Trent, manager of the Bank of Fincastle’s Bedford branch.
    Hughes, who said that this is the sixth year that she has been involved with this project, is especially pleased with the fact that the donation includes binders.
    “They are usually our highest value items,” she said.
    Hughes said that she has a supply list from each school for each grade level. The backpacks will be packed for children on the list with school and grade specific supplies and will be ready at the school for the children.