ZEBULON — When volunteers started gathering at the Zebulon Boys & Girls Club an hour before the start of Saturday’s Back-to-School Jamboree, they were surprised to find people already lined up at the door.
By the time the doors of the club opened to participants at 2 p.m. Saturday, the line of parents and students wrapped around the Boys & Girls Club sidewalk and curled around the driveway halfway to the Old Bunn Road entrance to the facility.
The jamboree, a partnership between several churches and Dew4Him Ministries, drew more than 200 students and their families.
Students who attended received book bags filled with school supplies. Moms also received a gift bag filled with items.
For many of the children, the book bags and the school supplies were nice, but the bigger attraction may have been the food, fun and games that awaited them once they were done with the school preparation.
Outside the Boys & Girls Club, stands were set up with hot dogs, slushees and other snacks. In the ballfield beside the club, bounce houses and cornhole boards were sitting ready for young players.
The size of Saturday’s crowd took organizers by surprise.
Jane Wolfe, the director of Dew4Him Ministries, said the group hoped it would have enough materials for all the children who were showing up.
Word of mouth seemed to be a popular way of advertising Saturday’s event. As the starting hour approached families could be seen taking the walk down Shepard School Road. Cars filled the parking lots at the club, and still more cars lined the side of the pavement along Old Bunn Road.
Wolfe said Saturday’s event was especially important because it marked a coming together of several diverse groups.
“It’s unusual to have an event where you have black churches and white churches and then a group like ours that ministers primarily to women. We’ve all come together, though, for one reason and that makes this special,” Wolfe said.
In addition to Dew4Him, other volunteers helping put on the event came from Wakefield Missionary Baptist Church and Wakefield Central Baptist Church.