The event is not supported by any organization.
By STEPHEN SIFF
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Jackie Hudson's party has become a back-to-school tradition.
About 100 children were expected to show up Friday evening for the annual get-together at a parking lot in Highland Terrace to eat hot dogs and hamburgers, drink pop and listen to a storyteller.
They will leave fully equipped for another school year: notebooks, scissors, erasers, backpacks.
"Some kids go to school the first day with no supplies," said Hudson, 46, manager of Howard's Clothing on Courthouse Square. "They really need these things."
No official support
Hudson has thrown the party the last weekend of summer vacation for the past six years, using his own money and help from friends, without official support from the Trumbull Metropolitan Housing Authority, which owns Highland Terrace, or any other group.
The packages of school supplies are assembled from lists provided by local schools. Those for youngsters starting at a new building get extra attention, Hudson said.
"Each package is a different package, each kid needs different things," he said.
In the beginning
The event began modestly to help out the children of friends and associates, Hudson said. About 20 kids came the first time, and each year they have been bringing more of their friends.
"They come from all over," he said.
Each child's supplies cost about $15, Hudson said. A lot of the money comes from him, and this year, some from local lawyers, lounges and stores.
"When I was growing up and playing football for Warren G. Harding, I remember people helping us out," said Hudson, a lifelong Warren resident.
"You have to come to grips with what you have to contribute. You find you niche and start from there."