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Up With Kids helps students in-need with back to school shopping 

RE/MAX Parkside Real Estate hosting 13th Annual Up With Kids Back to School Shopping Aug. 16

Up with kidsFor the past 13 years all the agents at RE/MAX Parkside contribute $100 each to help take North County children shopping for new school clothes. Broker-owner Pete Dakin matches the funds. The supporting cast of sponsors has grown over the years making it a truly community event with all donations going to benefit the children. Letters go out to service organizations in the North County who then nominate families to participate in the project.

This year 125 children will be able to go shopping. In addition to the $100 in clothing, they will receive shoes, backpacks full of school supplies, socks, dental supplies, haircut coupons & breakfast and a tethered ride in the RE/MAX balloon.

The event is this Saturday morning at 6 .m. at the Target store on Theatre Dr in Paso Robles.

The program started with 50 children and has grown and expanded. Brian Thorndyke, who brought the idea to RE/MAX Parkside as a community event, has been involved from the start along with Fred Bruen, and Elissa Williams. Cristina Sirotta joined the planning committee a few years ago and brought in an alliance with the Salvation Army and they have become a great partner. Dakin refers to it as “RE/MAX Parkside’s signature event.” The “Up With Kids” is a theme combining both the balloon ride and the goal to raise kids up.

The lucky kids arrive at Target before dawn for a special morning of shopping for $118 in new school clothes and shoes. They are accompanied throughout the event with a “Shopperone” assigned to them at check in. Target opens their store just for the “Shopping Spree” and also provides breakfast and new socks for the children.

This year sponsorship levels of Above the Crowd, $2500, Platinum, $1000, Gold, $750, Silver, $500, and Bronze, $250, were available. Key Termite has been a long time Platinum sponsor. Salvation Army took up the cause 3 years ago in a big way sponsoring as our Above the Crowd Sponsor! KD Capital Mortgage, Connect Home Loans, Coast Hills, & Envoy Mortgage are all Platinum Sponsors. The Paso Robles Rotary Club committed to Gold.

Many local businesses answered the call for Silver & Bronze Sponsorships. Every child receives a special t-shirt that morning as a reminder of the special time and to inspire them to reach for the sky. Many other private donations were received by Clients and friends of RE/MAX Parkside Real Estate.

A “New To You” clothing area was created to be able to have something for the older and younger siblings. It grew to a community-wide collection of new and “gently used” clothing in an effort to reach and help more children. Paso Robles Cleaners volunteered to launder the clothing. Donations for this area are still needed.

The Paso Robles Community Patrol and the Paso Robles Fire Department will be on hand to meet and greet the children.

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About the author: Publisher Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.