PHOTOS: Northfield Church Back-to-school bash

Atreyu (left) and Merrywind Marchington check out their new school supplies at the Northfield Church Back to School Bash in Gering Sunday.

GERING — Sunday afternoon rains changed some of the logistics, but it couldn’t dampen the spirit at the Northfield Church Back to School Bash.

The bounce house was a no-go, but about 1,200 people still came out for free student haircuts, popcorn and Arby’s sandwiches. There were 500 backpacks filled with school supplies for students who had registered with the church.

“There’s a need in the community, and we were going to meet it come rain, sleet, snow, whatever,” Northfield Pastor Kiley Callaway said.

With the rain coming down outside, the gym inside the church bustled with school-aged kids and their parents. Tickets were given to collect the meals and haircuts, and the backpacks and school supplies will be used as students go back to class beginning this week. This is the seventh year that Northfield has provided the ministry.

Callaway said he is pleased his congregation has a heart to help, but wishes the need wasn’t even there.

“It grieves me more than anything that there is such a huge need,” Callaway said. “It thrills me that we’ve got a body of believers who want to step up and meet that need. I wish that we could conquer it more than anything.”

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Mark McCarthy is a reporter with the Star-Herald. He can be reached at 308-632-9049 or via email at

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