Epic Church giveaway

Children and adults were seen at a past annual Book Bag giveaway event sponsored by the Epic Church on West Henley Street in Olean. This year’s event will be held Aug. 24 at the church.

OLEAN — For the eighth year in a row, local kids will be able to get the supplies they need for school, along with a haircut, food and fun when Epic Church hosts its free annual Book Bag giveaway from 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 24.

The church, located at 411 W. Henley St., will provide a variety of food, including hot dogs, barbecue chicken, snow cones and other items under a big tent on the property. Also available will be bounce houses, slides, music and games.

Pastor Chuck Maine of Epic Church, and his wife, Paris, said other sponsors of the event include Harvest Field Ministries, KMH Ministries and Dennis Casey of Allegany.

“Harvest Field has been with us since the start and the other ministries about three years,” Maine recalled. “We’re up to 500 (participants) at least and we give away 250 to 300 bookbags.”

He said the bookbags contain a number of back-to-school supplies such as pencils, pens, glue sticks, paper and subject notebooks for children when area school districts open their doors for the fall during the first week of September.

When asked if the event could use donations, Maine said more school items are always needed.

“For anyone interested, we can use supplies because we have all the book bags,” Maine said.

He noted the event could also use the services of more beauticians and barbers.

“We try to give as many (haircuts) as we can,” he said, noting girls can get their hair trimmed and boys can receive haircuts with clippers.

With two children of his own, Maine said he understands how the event can be of assistance to parents.

“I know what it costs to buy school supplies and book bags,” Maine shared.

Casey, who owns Casey Halwig & Hartle Funeral Home in Allegany, said the Maines run “wonderful outreach ministries.”

“For the back-to-school event, this will be the third year my funeral home is paying for and donating 100 chicken halves, cooked deliciously and served hot by Dana Spring, a part-time employee of the funeral home,” Casey said. “Additionally, their annual winter coat and hat giveaway is an occasion where I connected them with Dana Spring’s mother, Fran, who knits hats as a way to pass the time. She willingly donates them to the event.”

Maine said those who want to donate supplies, or beautician services to the event, may contact him at 378-1664.

(Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at kates_th@yahoo.com. Follow her on Twitter, @OTHKate)