By Dan McGrath

The sixth edition of the annual, unofficial “end of summer” party was held at Leo on Saturday, August 5. Persistent rain showers might have held the crowd down some, but an estimated 2,500 people were on hand at various portions of the afternoon.

Five thousand backpacks stuffed with school supplies were distributed to youngsters from Auburn Gresham and adjoining neighborhoods at the event itself and in the weeks leading up to it. Tables bearing toys, games, sports equipment and back-to-school clothing were available to the kids as well, along with horseback rides and food trucks offering a free lunch. Our community partners from the Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corp. manned a booth outlining the services available at the Healthy Lifestyles Hub, Leo’s new neighbor to the immediate east on 79th Street.

“A great day for Leo and a great day for Auburn Gresham—events like this underscore our commitment to the community,” Leo Principal Shaka Rawls said. “As we begin our 98th year at 79th and Sangamon, it’s important that we remain good citizens and good neighbors.”

Leo would like to thank the following sponsors for their participation and support: the Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corp., Alderman David Moore (17th), Jewel Osco, BMO Harris Bank, Farmer’s Insurance, Pyramid Amount Corp., Brown Sugar Bakery, Just a Touch Massage, LIT Living in Truth, Marcia’s Family Daycare, Olive Harvey College, the Chicago Blitz, the Chicago Hellcats, St. Sabina Academy, the Academy of St. Benedict the African, St. John De La Salle Academy, Holy Angels School, Betty Shabazz International Charter School and Kipp School.