Organizers of Backyard Blessings are calling the event the Family Festival. It will include musical performances, food, an appearance by Miss Walker County and a kids area with games and inflatables. Performers include Kool Katz, Rick and Jilda Watson and Old Machines. Organizers also plan to have several gospel groups and a bluegrass band.
"We're making it a big community event," said Leneda Jones, executive director of Backyard Blessings.
She said volunteers will also take donations for the local charity at the event.
Each week during the school year, Backyard Blessings volunteers pack bags that are discretely placed in the book bags of students who may be food insecure. The program began in Sumiton Elementary School when it was established three years ago. It now serves children at T.S. Boyd and Dora High School.
Jones said Backyard Blessings volunteers gave out 5,892 bags to 211 students in east Walker County. She said officials with the group are hoping to expand the charity's operations this year.
Backyard Blessings officials also announced that Daily Mountain Eagle Editor James Phillips will be the group's new honorary chairman.
"He has been a supporter of our efforts from the very beginning," Jones said.
Phillips, who was born and raised in Empire, said he was honored by the appointment.
“Backyard Blessings is a tremendous organization,” Phillips said. “I’ve seen their efforts, and I am happy to help.”
The Daily Mountain Eagle will also have a food and donation drive for Backyard Blessings throughout the month of July. Organizers asked for individually-wrapped, non-perishable food items that can be prepared for a child.
Anyone interested can bring food items into the Eagle's main office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Monetary donations can be mailed to Backyard Blessings Food Drive, ℅ Daily Mountain Eagle, P.O. Box 1469, Jasper, AL.
For more information about Backyard Blessings, contact Jones at 205-544-9094.