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Children pack out Back to School event

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Hundreds of schoolchildren were kitted out with new school supplies and fresh haircuts yesterday thanks to the Caines Family's Back to School Extravaganza.

The New Testament Church of God Heritage Worship Centre in Pembroke was packed with children whose families were in need of help in the run-up to the new school year.

The event, organised by brothers Dwayne, Wayne and Travis Caines along with Five Star Barber Shop, also included several other organisations who offered assistance.

In total, 423 boys and girls received hair care services and more than 800 school supply items were handed out.

The Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo gave out free memberships, Coral Dental gave screenings and the Bermuda National Library signed up pupils for a free library card.

Antrone Stovell was at the event, the sixth of its kind, with his two young sons Ade, 2, and Anari, 7.

Mr Stovell said: “I heard about the event from some of his camp teachers. I thought I would do something good for the kids and brought my sons to get a new haircut.

“It will help me out. I have these and another son as well. It is a struggle and this makes it a little easier. I don't have to worry about the haircuts and school bags and they can run around, have fun and play games.”

More than 100 volunteers donated their time to the giveaway, which last year helped more than 600 children.

Cyber Tips, an organisation set up to promote internet safety, also attended and its mascot Cyber Cyd took part in a dance competition with the younger children.

Some of the girls were treated to a manicure from staff at the Three Graces Spa, Southampton.

Aisha Spencer, the spa owner, said: “We were excited to be a part of the event this year and help make the children happy. Some kids have never had a professional manicure, this is for the kids who don't have the opportunity.”

Jamir Hatherley, 11, chose a light peach colour for her nails and said she was “thankful”.

One mother, who asked not to be named, ensured her sons aged 4 and 6 took advantage of the free dental screenings by Coral Dental.

She said: “This is excellent. It gives me an idea of what my children need before I take them to the dentist. Their results were pretty good.”

Travis Caines said: “With us being from the neighbourhoods, we understand the temperature of the environment today — people are going through hard times. So we want to give back and do something good for our community.”

The brothers said in a statement: “The theme for this years' extravaganza was Success Never Sleeps and the goal was to show our children that in order to be their best, they must be focused, dedicated and committed.

“This event would not be a success without the 80 volunteers who gave their time and talents to make the event a success. We are very thankful for your labour of love.

“A special mention goes out to the barbers and hair braiders who started at 8am and three volunteers finished braiding the last three girls' hair at 6.45pm. Your community is blessed to have you and we are for ever grateful for your hard work.

“We look forward to making this event even more meaningful to our community next year.”

The brothers thanked main sponsors Sun Life Financial International and reinsurance firm Hiscox and other backers including insurance broker Marsh and McLennan, beauty and hairdressing supplies company Sunshine Company, transport firm Titan Express, the Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo, Coral Dental, the Bermuda Youth Library, Bermuda's Anti-Cyber Bullying Campaign, Brotha Richie, Casual Footwear, and John Barritt and Sons.

Christopher Reeves, managing director of Marsh, said: “We are delighted to once again sponsor this worthy community event and applaud the Caines family and Five Star Barber Shop for spotting a need on the island and pouring an impressive amount of time and attention into making this event a success.”

Community effort: Dwayne Caines helps kick off the Back to School Extravaganza at the Heritage Worship Centre yesterday (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Children ready for a haircut at the Back to School Extravaganza (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Antron Stovell with his two sons Ade, left, and Anari (Photograph by Sarah Lagan)
The dance competition at the extravaganza was a hit with the children (Photograph by Sarah Lagan)

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Published September 07, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated September 07, 2018 at 11:17 am)

Children pack out Back to School event

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