The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jesse Sines
For The Sentinel 

Summer fun at Back to School Bash


Jess Sines for The Sentinel

The Back to School Bash in Goldendale reminded everyone that as summer wanes, school is just around the corner.

The Back to School Bash of Aug. 3 on the courthouse lawn was met with a great reception of kids of all ages and parents alike. Even before the official opening at 11 a.m., the community was lining up to get their bags of school supplies and enter their children’s names into the drawing that would be held at the end. During the drawing, backpacks full of school supplies were given as prizes to a lucky boy and girl of each grade. Features of the event included live music, concessions, inflatable bouncy houses, face painting and games with prizes that filled the courthouse lawn. The best part of the event mentioned by many of the patrons was everything being free.

Sunday Sutton, one of the main coordinators for the event, explained, “We just think this event is phenomenal. We started a little later this year; we usually start in January just getting our team together, getting members of the community [and] requesting support for the event. It runs smoother after the seventh year of getting it set up, every year it’s grown.” says Sutton.” We have a pastor who came from a church from the Sunnyside area, and they did something similar in their church. They [assisted] our church in doing the first one.”

A new feature of this year’s Bash was a live music performance lead by Brendon Adams and Kevin Gerchak. “We’re having fun,” exclaimed Adams. “We’ve been doing this a long time; we had a really good turnout!”

Along with the help of the local churches of the Ministerial Association, the Goldendale Fire and Police departments and even the Cub Scouts, the Back to School Bash was met with nothing but positive reception from the community for the seven years it’s been running. According to Sutton, “We spend anywhere between $1,800 and $2,300 in school supplies each year, so every child gets a small bag of school supplies. We [also] donate the leftover supplies to the local schools to help out the kids that need them too.”

Watching over one of the bouncy houses was Matt Chiles, a supporting parent for the event. “Hey, the bouncy house rocks,” he said. “Kids are having a lot of fun! Who wouldn’t want to do the bouncy house, I mean really.”

As for the Cub Scouts assisting with the games, Jeremiah Arnold was helping with the Fishing Fun game, which happened to be a crowd favorite. “Fishing Fun yeah, because it’s fun to go fishing!” exclaimed Arnold, “I think it’s pretty awesome, and we keep giving away things that are pretty cool.”

Jack Sutton, the one in charge of keeping everything running, summarized, “Seeing all these kids’ faces makes it all worthwhile.”

Whether it was the future students, the parents, the game operators, performers, or even the cleanup crew; smiling faces were a common sight during, and after the Back to School Bash. All of the volunteers are looking forward to the next event already and hope to see even more of the community come out next year.


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