Up-to-Date Minutes

The next backpack meeting will be held on April 19 at 7 p.m. at Christ United Methodist Church.  Everyone is invited to be a part of our Planning Team.

These are the minutes from the Louisville Community Backpack Festival on March 29, 2012

 Present:  Christ UMC:  Karen Nieschwitz, Gene and Cathy Wagmiller, Lisa Gramoy and Karen Barr (secretary at Fairhope); Louisville Christian Church:  Tina Boggs and Carol Hinton; Center Church: Billi Janet Burkey; Fairhope: Pastor Joe Wright and Kathy Schmucker; and Beech Mennonite:  Deanna Slater

Gene Wagmiller began the meeting.  He stated that Andy Aljancic Park is reserved for Sat., Aug. 11.  He will contact Dale Smith (Herkey the Clown) who may have a dunk tank and other items.

Last year we booked the inflatables through Josh Elder, All for Fun Inflatables, who had very good prices.  We will try contacting him again for this year.

Karen Nieschwitz purchased many backpacks and now has around 250 backpacks, Cathy Wagmiller has about 50 backpacks and Sue Lautzenheiser has around 10-15, so we are doing pretty good with our backpack supply.

Lisa Gramoy gave the treasurer’s report.  We currently have a balance of $929.98.  This includes $75 to rent the park and will get $40 refund.   It also includes two donations we received this year of $25 from Ted’s Auto Sales and $75 from Enviroscapes.

Flyers will be made up to take to Louisville schools the first week in May.  A sample of the flyer will be brought to the next meeting.

Donation letters will once again be made for local businesses, organizations, and churches.  (Letters were sent out Dec. 5th, but we thought the letters should be sent out again.)   The letter will request a representative from each church to come to our planning meeting, include our vision for our ministry, and we will give them options of different donation plans:

  1. Bronze – $50=$99 – we will include your business name, along with other businesses on a “sponsor card” in each child’s backpack
  2.  Silver – $100-$199 – the sponsor card plus  your organization will have it’s name next to one of the games, which will state “This game is sponsored by _______.”
  3. Gold – $200-$299 – all of the above plus we will give you a framed certificate for your generous sponsorship of our backpack festival.
  4. Platinum – over $300 donation – all of the above plus an on-air interview publicizing your organization on radio station WNPQ, “The Light,” 95.9 FM.
  5. We will also include the picture flyer.

We should send a letter to Ted’s Auto Sales and Enviroscapes, in case they would like to increase their donation.

The Louisville School website already has the list of school supplies  for the 2012/13 school year.  Those items that all children in Kindergarten through 5th grade need are:

1)      One ream copy paper

2)      24 pack Crayola Crayons

3)      Fiskars Scissors – pointed 1st-5th grade

4)      Family-size Box tissues

These items were not needed in all grades:

1)    #2 pencils (except K)

2)    Pink eraser (except K)

3)    Glue sticks (except 4th grade)

3)    Highlighters (except K & 1st)

4)    Folders with horizontal pockets (except K & 3rd grade)

5)    4 Dry erase markers (except 1st & 4th grade)

6)    White glue (except K, 3rd & 5th)  only 1st grade specifies “Elmer’s)

7)    Colored pencils – (except K, 1st, & 4th) – does not specify any brand

8)    Composition notebook – only 4th & 5th

9)    Wide notebook paper – 3rd, 4th and 5th only

Karen felt she could get copy paper for $2.99/ream from Quill.  Billi Janet Burkey suggested we contact Form and Function Office Supply, which is a local office supply company.

The next meeting will be held on April 19 at 7 p.m. at Christ United Methodist Church.

Karen Barr, Secretary

FOLLOW-UP MEETING – This meeting was held August/September 2011

Gene Wagmiller asked us what we thought went right with the festival this year:  registration, food, information table, and games went well.  We were glad we purchased the vests for the staff.  The number of games were good,.

Pastor Larry also made some positive comments:  1) He liked the way the park was organized,.  Everyone understood what they were supposed to do.  2) We had good publicity from the Louisville Herald.  3) The new games, Holy Board, Ladder Golf, and Peddle cars were well liked and enjoyed.  4) It is good that there are some new churches getting involved, and they are working together well.  The location of the prayer tent, story tellers, and signs was good.

What went wrong:  the water in the dunk tank was rusty and there weren’t a ladder.  Hartville Hardware had the wrong date marked down, and we had to drive elsewhere to get the tank.  (Herkey the Clown has a dunk tank.  We can check with him for next year.)  Also, we should develop an “agreement form” to reserve anything.

Suggestions for next year:

1) Fast pitch:  next year we need to remember to purchase some gift cards as prizes for the fast pitch game.

2) Make a suggestion box to place at the park.

3) In the Louisville Herald next year, we need to add a “blurb” giving a phone number where people who would like to volunteer could call.  We also need to add “backpacks need to be picked up by 6 p.m.”  See if we can put the registration form in the Herald.

4) Be sure the deadline to register for the festival is on all the flyers.

5) See if we can put the backpack festival information on the school’s website.

6) Put the festival information on facebook.  Can we put the flyer on facebook?

7) It was brought up to make a shorter period to register.

8) Have various publicity chairpersons:  facebook, school website, Louisville Herald.

9) Get more volunteers to do:  1) Have a sign-up sheet at the meetings for people to sign up to rubberband supplies together, etc.  2) Sign-up sheet for people to walk in parade; 3) Put labels on pencils.

10) Registration:  It was brought up to get a separate cell phone to take phone calls for registration.  Someone said google has a free number.  Also, brought up was getting an answering service.  Karen Barr will be happy to take registrations next year in the office.   Be sure registration person knows to tell parents that the backpacks need to be picked up by 6 p.m.

11) Suggestion that instead of putting all the school supplies at each table, to just put ONE school supply at each table.  This would save time.  Then we could have 5-10 complete sets of school supplies in the backpack garage, in case a parent just comes to pick up the complete set.

12) Gene asked what we should do with the leftover school supplies.  This year we had requests for them, and gave them out to other schools.  Next year, check with the committee first.

13) We ordered 1000 pencils for the parade.

14) Thank yous were sent out.


Festival To be Held Sat., Aug. 13, 2011 from 4-7 p.m.

backpack flyer new 2011

The Louisville Christian Community uniting in the love of Christ to provide backpacks and school supplies to local children at a fun family festival.   

The Louisville Community Backpack Festival will be held this year on Sat., Aug. 13 from 4-7 p.m. at Broad Street/Andy Aljancic Park in Louisville, Ohio.  All children entering kindergarten through 5th grade in the Fall of 2011 will have the opportunity to receive a free backpack and school supplies when they attend.  There will be games to win school supplies, food and fun!  Stop at the registration table when you arrive.  (Backpacks need to be picked up by 6 p.m.)  Deadline to pre-register is July 28th.  You can pre-register by calling Christ United Methodist Church at (330) 875-1483 from 8 .am. until 12 noon.  You can also e-mail it at prstella@sbcglobal.net.  Or you can mail in your child’s name, grade entering, address, and phone number to P.O. Box 457, Louisville, Ohio 44641.

Or follow this link:  backpack flyer new 2011

Watch this video:
Backpack Giveaway and Family Festival 2009 from Tim Beck on Vimeo.

Backpack Outreach Receives Award!

Thank you to the Louisville Area Chamber of Commerce for including “The Louisville Backpack Giveaway” in the list of “hero awards” that were presented at the Louisville Area Chamber of Commerce Hero Night.   Gene and Cathy Wagmiller were present at the awards night, and as chairpersons for the committee, were given a nice plaque that will be shared so everyone can see it.  Many of the churches in the community help with the backpack festival, and everyone is to be commended for their hard work!!  It is a lot of hard work preparing for the festival, but when you see all the smiling faces, as the children receive their backpack and school supplies, it makes it all worthwhile for everyone.  We hope we can get even more volunteers and churches involved in the backpack festival this year!  As all the churches come together for a common cause, it makes the whole night very special indeed.

2009 Backpack Giveaway Highlight Video

Backpack Giveaway and Family Festival 2009 from Tim Beck on Vimeo.


 We had a great event at our second annual Backpack Festival on Sat., Aug. 15th at Andy Aljancic Park.   A total of 290 children were pre-registered, and received backpacks and school supplies!  Approximately another 20 children (who weren’t pre-registered) but also received backpack and school supplies!  The children played games to win school supplies, as well as enjoyed free food, listened to Christian entertainment, jumped on inflatables, visited a clown that made balloon animals, visited two storytellers and learned a Bible Story about Gideon, and more.  The free food included hot dogs, drinks, chips, cotton candy, popcorn, and even snow cones!  We were so blessed by the activites all the children enjoyed!    And we were so thankful for the many volunteers who helped!

A big thank you to the churches who participated:  Fairhope United Methodist Church, Christ United Methodist Church, Beech Mennonite Church, First Assembly of God, Paradise United Church of Christ, Beacon of Hope Community Church, and New Life Ministries Church.

A big thank you also to the many businesses who  sponsored the event:  Attorney Laurie Mickley, Yoder’s Auto Service, Yoder’s Auto Collission, Dollar General Store, McDonald’s, Enviroscapes, Petitti’s, the Louisville Library, Penny Alley, The Louisville Rotary Club, The Ruritan Club, and Alpaca Dreams Farms

2008 Backpack Giveaway & Family Festival Video

A short promo video of last year’s event is on Youtube.  Tim Beck, youth director at Christ UMC (Louisville, OH) produced this video of last years event.  Follow this link to the video.

Volunteer Feedback Form

If you were a volunteer and didn’t make it to the feedback session we’d still like to hear from you.  Download the: backpack-volunteer-feedback-form and mail it back to us at:

5660 Louisville St.

Louisville, OH 44641