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Neal Communities returning as title sponsor of Big Backpack Event

June 30, 2017
Special to The Breeze ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

After making history in 2016 as the single largest donor in the history of the Big Backpack Event, Neal Communities has signed on as the title sponsor for the Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida's 18-year-old event, which will take place at a new venue this year. This festival event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, July 30, at Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School, 4750 Winkler Ave., in Fort Myers.

Pooling contributions from staff, trade partners and residents of its communities, Neal Communities presented $11,131 to the Big Backpack Event in 2016. The home builder has already begun collecting funds to try for another record-breaking year.

Every year, an estimated 12,000 people attend the event, and more than 2,000 students receive free backpacks and school supplies while celebrating diversity in our community. Thanks to Neal Communities and other generous sponsors, admission is free to the largest back-to-school outreach program in Lee County.

Article Photos

Photo provided

In 2016, Neal Communities South Region presented the Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida with the single largest check donation in the BIG Backpack Event’s 17-year history. On hand for the presentation were, from left, Neal Communities Executive Assistant Paula Terry, Director of Sales and Marketing Diane Kerper, event volunteer Javier Fuller, Multicultural Centre of SWFL co-founder Leonardo Garcia, event volunteer Ingrid Fuller, past event chair Connie Ramos-Williams, community manager Matt Leukroth, SWFL Regional President Michael Greenberg and event volunteer Nalani Garcia.

Neal Communities Southwest Florida Regional President Michael Greenberg said, "Eighteen years and counting, the Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida has presented a fun event that is also an impressive show of solidarity. Our company is proud to pull together with the community to support students in need."

In advance of the Big Backpack Event, community members are invited to participate in the Adopt-A-Student fundraiser. Each $10 donation provides a student with a new backpack and school supplies that include notebook paper, folders, crayons, glue, pencils and pens.

To date, this popular community outreach event has provided new backpacks and school supplies to more than 35,000 students.

The event lends a helping hand to students and families in need while celebrating the diversity in Southwest Florida with live multicultural entertainment on the main stage including hip hop, Irish step dance, salsa and more.

The first 2,000 or more children age 5-12 will receive free backpacks and school supplies, or while supplies last.

Children must be present with a parent or guardian to receive free supplies. The line typically begins to form as early as 7 a.m., but moves quickly once the doors open.

Families will enjoy other event festivities such as face painting, inflatables, clowns and live entertainment. Thanks to sponsors and vendors, students may also receive eye exams, haircuts, and other giveaways at the event while supplies last.

For more information on Adopt-A-Student, vendor, volunteer or business sponsorship opportunities, visit or email

Multicultural Centre

of Southwest Florida

The Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization established in Fort Myers with the purpose of promoting programs aimed at bringing people of different cultures together and culturally linking Southwest Florida with other communities around the world. For additional information, visit



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