Students throughout Arizona are settling into the new school year and thanks to the Back to School Clothing Drive Association's "New Clothes, New Beginnings" distribution event more than 5,800 of the state's highest-need students are dressed and equipped for success. Each child who attended received more than $300 in merchandise, bringing the week-long total to $1.8 million. In addition to the 5,800 elementary school children who attended the event, another 4,000 students in northern Arizona received stuffed backpacks through a partnership with BHHS Legacy Foundation's Backpack Buddies program. Additionally, 1,000 kids received assistance through partnerships with local nonprofit and social service agencies. The event was at the ASU Preparatory Academy in Phoenix.
Special guests who surprised participants included Arizona Diamondback all-star Luis Gonzales, Arizona Diamondback center fielder Chris Young, and University of Arizona and Team USA softball player Jennie Finch.