LOCAL NEWS

8,000 free backpacks stuffed with school supplies available Tuesday

Aug 23, 2021, 12:57 PM | Updated: Aug 24, 2021, 4:11 pm
Backpacks, Maverick Cares...
(Courtesy photo)
(Courtesy photo)

Just in time for students to return to school – and, for many, return to in-person learning for the first time in over a year – a local business is stepping up to help them start off right.

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“On Tuesday, we’re doing our quarterly annual Maverick Cares event [where] we’re going to be giving out backpacks and school supplies to about 8,000 children across the state,” Maverick Gaming CEO Eric Persson said.

Each backpack comes stuffed with “pencils, and colored pencils, and pens and papers, and all the things that they have to have in order to be successful as they’re getting their education,” he described.

Maverick — which owns and operates 19 card rooms across the state — may be in the gaming business, but it’s also big on community involvement and giving back, especially when it comes to kids. This past March, the company held a similar event over spring break doling out 16,000 meal kits and educational field trip vouchers to Washington students. That followed a care package giveaway last Fourth of July for some 4,000 families, and the list goes on.

“At the end of the day, we’re part of the community and we’re so grateful to be here, and we just recognize a lot of children in particular that need help,” Persson said. “Spring break is another one where there’s a lot of food insecurity, so we make sure to go out during spring break and make sure children have food for a week, and events and things to go do so they can feel like any other child out there.”

“For us, it’s just one of these things. It’s our obligation,” he added. “The community does so much for us, so this is the least we can do to support them.”

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And it’s a group effort with local mayors and various other elected officials taking part in the backpack giveaway in their respective communities, as well as local charities that help find those most in need, and local businesses that have donated.

“Businesses have given their product as well some food and some other items, and there’s backpacks full of stuff. So we’re pretty excited to go out and get the word out,” Persson said. “We’re very proud of the local community support we have. It keeps growing every quarter. We have over 30 local businesses providing items for our backpacks.”

The Maverick Cares Backpack Giveaway is open to anyone. Maverick Gaming locations helping support the event include: Royal Casino (Everett), Crazy Moose Casino (Mountlake Terrace), Silver Dollar Casino (Bothell/Mill Creek), Caribbean Casino (Kirkland), Great American Casino (Lakewood), Roman Casino (Renton), Great American Casino (Tukwila), Silver Dollar Casino (Renton), Silver Dollar Casino (SeaTac), Wizards Casino (Burien), Crazy Moose Casino (Pasco), Caribbean Casino (Yakima), Coyote Bob’s Casino (Kennewick).

“All they need to do is come to one of our properties between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, and we’ll get the backpack to them and they can go to school with all the stuff they need to succeed,” Persson said.

You can get more information about the event here.

Follow Hanna Scott on Twitter or email her here

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8,000 free backpacks stuffed with school supplies available Tuesday