PEORIA — Kids got backpacks filled with school supplies during a giveaway event Sunday afternoon at the TCC store on Sheridan Road.
The Verizon Wireless authorized dealer has taken part in the annual event since it was launched eight years ago by parent company Round Room.
"I was here for it last year and again today," said TCC sales consultant Alan Robertson, who drove in from his home in Havana to work at the Peoria store. "We're ready to distribute the backpacks. The kids will have a choice of multiple backpack designs.
"The supplies included inside each are pencils, paper, a pencil box, folders and glue. I think this is such a good event that we do here.
"The parents and the kids come through and are really appreciative. It's a rewarding experience."
The event was from 1-4 p.m. in Peoria and was part of the nationwide eighth annual School Rocks Backpack Giveaway.
The stores distributed 140,000 backpacks with supplies inside on Sunday and have given away more than 1 million backpacks over the life of the program.
TCC will also award five students each $10,000 college scholarships.
Participating stores follow the CDC’s social distancing and state guidelines to ensure the safety of employees and event attendees. In an effort to promote safety, stores will host either distanced walk up or contactless drive up events for customers to pick up backpacks.
The drive-through version is what was used at the Sheridan Road store on Sunday.
Children in grades K-12 are eligible for entry for the $10,000 college scholarship and can be registered at their local TCC stores during the Backpack Giveaway event. Entries will be accepted through Friday.
"It’s our favorite time of year as a TCC family. We love helping students obtain essential supplies before they begin their school year each summer," said Scott Moorehead, CEO of Round Room, parent company of TCC, in a statement. "To have been able to donate more than one million backpacks to our nation’s youth in the eight years of this event is incredible, and I couldn’t be more thankful for our store locations, employees and customers for helping us continue to do good in our operating communities."
Dave Eminian is a Journal Star sports columnist and covers the Rivermen and Chiefs. He writes the Cleve In The Eve sports column for pjstar.com. Reach him at 686-3206 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @icetimecleve.