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    Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads hosts free Back to School Bash

    Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads hosts free Back to School Bash

    Photo By Katisha Draughn-Fraguada | Patrons enjoy pony rides at the MWR Back to School Bash on Aug. 13 at Cutter Athletic...... read more read more



    Story by Katisha Draughn-Fraguada 

    Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads

    Naval Support Activity (NSA) Hampton Roads’ Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Department gave back to military families in a huge way during the Back to School Bash at Cutter Athletic Park on Aug. 13.

    Approximately 465 patrons attended the event which featured bounce houses, pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, refreshments, and more.

    "This is actually our first in-person event that we have had since March of 2020,” said Eric Emerson, Community Recreation Programmer with MWR. “We have been hosting all drive-thru events since then, so we were excited to come out and support our Navy families and give them some free school supplies and just a good time.”

    Military spouse Brittani Smith attended the event with her family and was happy for the opportunity to have a little bit of normalcy during these challenging times.

    “It has been a rough year so we were happy to be able to get the kids out for a fun day,” she said. “MWR makes these events great for our families.”

    Throughout the pandemic, MWR has hosted various DIY drive-thru events at all of the NSA Hampton Roads annexes where they provided the patrons with a kit including all the necessary materials and instructions for the project to be worked on at home. Around this time last year, the team hosted a Back to School Drive-Thru event where they provided free backpacks with school supplies to the military community.

    “Events like this [Back to School Bash] are vital for meeting the MWR mission of providing quality of life programs and boosting the morale of the military community, especially after being restricted for so many months due to the pandemic,” said Andrew Thomson, Interim MWR Director for NSA Hampton Roads. “Being able to provide a free, fun, and safe carnival-like atmosphere, where we also give away school supplies, allows military families a chance to unwind from the stress of everyday life and save their money for other essential items. We were thrilled and honored to be able to provide this for those who serve and protect our country.”

    At the bash, MWR gave away 225 backpacks filled with a variety of school supplies to include paper, pencils, pens, erasers, glue sticks, scissors, highlighters, and crayons.

    “We will always be here for our military families before, during and after this pandemic,” said Emerson. “We truly enjoy putting together these type of events and having all of our families come out. We love to be able to bring a little bit of happiness, as well as relieve some financial stress for our military families as they prepare for the upcoming school year.”



    Date Taken: 08.13.2021
    Date Posted: 08.16.2021 15:21
    Story ID: 403176
    Location: NORFOLK , VA, US

    Web Views: 83
    Downloads: 1