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Linda’s Lighthouse Back to School event returns Saturday; see how you can benefit

Linda’s Lighthouse is looking to light the way once again.

The nonprofit, named for the late Linda Griffin Lucas and headed up by daughter Amber Lucas, is hosting the 6th annual A Day at Linda’s Lighthouse Back to School event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Memorial High School.

“We are excited for this, the sixth year,” said Christopher Bates, who is constable for precinct 2 and vice president of the organization. “We’ve grown so much. We’re glad to partner with the Port Arthur Independent School District in these efforts so everyone is comfortable.”

Visitors to the program first sign in so officials with Linda’s Lighthouse can reach out to them for future events or for more assistance. As in previous years, there will be vendors on site with pamphlets.

Schwanna Gray, left; Glenda Trainer, with Women of Works; and longtime volunteers Kimberly Wycoff and Mary Wycoff are pictured. (Courtesy of Melea Jeffries/14 Photography)

The 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. window is a way serve as many people as possible. To do that there will be a number of activities. Bates said organizers want the program to be interactive and not “just come and get a backpack and move along.”

There will also be face painting, haircuts and hairstyles, balloon art, a table for arts and crafts, a photo booth, live music and a DJ.

Food will be served around lunch, he said, and approximately an hour before the event closes down is when backpacks with supplies would be distributed.

Amber Lucas, executive director, said team members are hoping to help approximately 700 students this year.

Last year there were between 300 to 400 in attendance at the scaled-down, socially-distanced event, when the Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center parking lot was used for a drive-in movie.

A scene from the 2020 Back to School event. (Courtesy of Melea Jeffries/14 Photography)

“As they were enjoying the movie, we went out and put the supplies in the car,” Lucas said, adding they provided a meal and interacted at a distance.

“This year, we hope everyone comes out and enjoys themselves.”

Lucas said organizers know there is a pandemic going on and a new variant but they want to get the job done and help children and families with an enjoyable time.”

And even though the event is being held at a PAISD campus, it is open to families from other schools, as well, including Bob Hope and Tekoa charter schools, Sabine Pass School and anyone in the area.

“We want them to come out and receive what we have to give,” Bates said.

Organizers strongly encourage all guests, vaccinated or not, to mask up.

The free event is first come, first served.

For more information, call 409-444-7630 or go to lindaslighthouse.org or @LindasLighthouse on Instagram.