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  • Writer's pictureNorth Star

1st Annual Backpack Run Raises Back to School Supplies for North Star Kids

A motorcycle ride was held this weekend to collect donations of school supplies for the children served by local homelessness prevention non-profit, North Star of Chester County. Motorcycle riders and supporters braved the heat and gathered at West Chester Cycle, on Downingtown Pike in West Chester, to join in the hour-long trek. Bikers came with new backpacks full of school supplies, the entry fee for the ride.

Riders participating in the 1st Annual Backpack Run, organized by Mike Podgurski (front, center) of West Chester Cycle

Mike Podgurski, the co-owner of West Chester Cycle, organized the event after learning about North Star’s program and the families they serve. “After hearing about what they did, it spoke to me as a single parent,” said Podgurski. “I appreciate that they help single parents that work. That was big for me.”

North Star of Chester County serves single working parents, preventing homelessness and promoting self-sufficiency. They provide ongoing financial assistance, to help keep families in their homes, while they work one-on-one with parents to help them become self-sufficient through case management and education. Because they work full-time, many North Star participants earn too much to qualify for other assistance programs, but not enough to get by on their own.

The school supplies collected on Saturday will go to the children of parents in North Star’s program. The agency will distribute backpacks, notebooks, pencils, crayons, binders, and more at the agency’s annual Summer Picnic, a private gathering for the families they serve.

“School supplies are a big expense,” said North Star Executive Director Joyce Lacy. “We are grateful to have support from West Chester Cycle, everybody who participated in the Backpack Run, and other members of the community. It makes a difference to our families’ bottom line this time of year.”

The Backpack Run, led by Officers Janders, Devito, and Gardner from the Chester County Sheriff’s Office, sent riders on a scenic tour of the county, ending at Timothy’s Sports Bar & Restaurant in West Chester. Timothy’s participated in the event with a Dine & Donate promotion, giving 15% of proceeds, the day of the ride, to North Star of Chester County.

Special thank you to Elaine Torres for providing these photographs

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