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Restaurants exceed goal in collecting school supplies

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

Clayton County's seven Chick-fil-A and Truett's Grill restaurants have exceeded their goal of collecting at least 75 boxes of school supplies, Randy Burgess, the general manager of Truett's Grill in Morrow said Wednesday.

Burgess said he, and representatives of the Chick-fil-A restaurants, expect to present Clayton County Public Schools Superintendent Edmond Heatley with more than 100 boxes of supplies at a "Back-to-School Bash" on Saturday.

Burgess said the better-than-anticipated result of a two-week school supply drive is the sign of a strong community response to helping out Clayton County's 48,000 students. The drive ends today.

Burgess said his restaurant, and the Chick-fil-A Dwarf House restaurant, have collected at least 30 boxes each, and the other Chick-fil-A restaurants in Clayton County have amassed at least 20 boxes each.

"We blew that [75-box goal] out of the water," Burgess said. "The community really stepped up to help the students out."

The bash, which will feature games, a trackless train, and eight inflatable bouncers, will be held Saturday from 11 a.m., to 2 p.m., on the lawn in front of the Historic Clayton County Courthouse, which is located at 121 South McDonough Street, in Jonesboro.

Clayton pupils will return to school on Monday for the 2009-2010 school year.

The school district is coming off a 2008-2009 school year that was marked by the loss, and regaining, of its Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' (SACS) accreditation.

"What it [the celebration] will represent is the last little bash before school starts," Burgess said. "With the accreditation loss, it was just a tough row to hoe, and this is an opportunity to say 'Hey, we've been down, but now we're back and ready to move forward.'"

During the Back-to-School Bash, which is being co-organized by Clayton County Schools' Community Relations Liaison Rhonda Burnough, attendees will have another chance to support students in their academic endeavors.

The Chick-fil-A restaurants will be selling chicken sandwiches and drinks during the event, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the school system to fund superintendent scholarships for graduating high school students.

"We are pleased to have Chick-fil-A as a partner," Burnough said in a written statement from the school system. "Their support and example prove that our community is thriving and successful."