CARTHAGE, Mo. — If students in Carthage weren’t quite ready to head back to school, an event Tuesday night helped.

Bright Futures Carthage hosted a “Back-to-School Bash” at the Fair Acres Family YMCA. The kids were able to stock up on free school supplies, t-shirts, free Kona Ices, even train rides. School supplies were donated by local businesses and organizations.

“One of the questions I ask myself every morning when I wake up is how can a kid have a bright future if he lives in a dark present? And so, my goal in life is to give some bright futures to kids all along the way, and so if we can give them a great day today and a new shirt to wear to school on the first day of school, then we’ve succeeded. All the other stuff is just a bonus,” said Greg Spink, Bright Futures, Carthage.

“I’m excited to go back to school!” said Solange Matual Ramirez, 5th Grader, Carthage.

“Just going back to doing band for concerts,” added Adriana Ramirez, Sophomore, Carthage.

More than 500 people attended the event.

Carthage schools, like many others in the area, start school on the 22nd.