Published: Jul 25, 2012 9:03 AM EDT
Updated: Jul 25, 2012 9:53 AM EDT

Fort Myers, FL –July 20, 2012- The Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida presents the 13th
Annual “Big Backpack Event” to celebrate back-to-school and diversity in the community. The event will
be held Sunday, July 29 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers.

For the past 12 years the Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida has been hosting this popular
community outreach event that has provided new backpacks and school supplies to over 25,000 students
since it’s inception. The event lends a helping hand to students in need of new school supplies, as well as,
celebrates the diversity in Southwest Florida.

The event draws an estimated crowd of 15,000 people each year, which kicks off the new school year.
Although the doors open to begin the event at 11 a.m., the line begins to form around the Harborside Event
Center as early at 7 a.m. The first 2,500 students ages 5-12 will receive free backpacks, school supplies, eye
screenings, haircuts, and giveaways. Parents or guardians must bring their school age children in order to
receive the free supplies. Families will also enjoy festivities that include face painting, an inflatable slide &
bounce house, clowns, and live multicultural entertainment on the main stage throughout the event.

There is no fee for the event, and all families are welcome to come out and enjoy the fun festivities.
Vendors, sponsors, and donations are welcome. 100% of all donations go directly to support students in
need. Every $10 donation adopts a student in need and provides them with a new backpack and school

Walmart Market 105, which consists of 8 stores located in Fort Myers and Naples, has been a major
supporter for the event this year. Walmart is donating supplies to fill 2300 backpacks including pencils,
pens, crayons, 3 prong notebooks, wide ruled paper, glue sticks, pencil sharpeners, and rulers, bottled
water, great value breakfast bars, and bananas. Their vision centers will also be donating free vision
screenings. The Walmart Foundation provided a grant of $2500 to help provide additional supplies for the
students. Other large sponsors include Pendas Law Firm and the Fort Myers Rotary Club.

Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida
The Multicultural Centre is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization established in Fort
Myers with the purpose of promoting programs aimed at bringing people of different cultures together and
of culturally linking Southwest Florida with other communities around the world.
For more information visit