Hope area families are invited out for a celebratory back-to-school end-of-summer bash at Hope First Wesleyan, located at 733 Washington St., from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Hope First Wesleyan youth pastor and event organizer Quintin Marquis says this event has been a little while in the making.

“A few years ago, we had done a back-to-school bash, but not quite to this scale,” 18-year-old Marquis says. “It was kind of like a pool day and it was a great opportunity to get out into the community. And get the youth group out to the community.”

Saturday’s event will feature everything that one equates with summer-fun from a bouncy house and dunk tank to delicious food, fun and friends. There will also be a backpack and school supply giveaway, Marquis adds.

Marquis says part of the inspiration for this event goes back to his own childhood.

“I know when I was going to school, I had always dreaded back to school things,” Marquis says. “Anytime I saw a back to school commercial I wanted to pull my hair out because that meant summer was almost over.”

However, Marquis says events like this made the doldrums associated with going back to school not so meh.

“I always looked forward to events like this because it kicks off the school year with something fun,” he says. “It gets you excited to be back around friends. It shows the students they have a community they can go to.”

Another part of Marquis’ focus with Saturday’s bash is to spread the word about youth group and Hope First Wesleyan, he says. In an effort to not only get the word out, but further build relationships in the community, Marquis had some help along the way.

“I just took over the youth group a few months ago so this is my first event I get to do with them,” he says. “We’ve spoken to some other churches about partnering with them, but we haven’t got anything official on that yet.”

In addition to his dad, John, assisting to make this event happen, Marquis says the entire church has helped out with commissions for school supplies.

“We are going to be handing out backpacks,” Marquis says. “We had over 100 backpacks supplied to us along with a ton of school supplies, so we are going to load those backpacks up with supplies and hand them out to kids whose families may not be able to get them. So that will be an awesome opportunity for us as well."

Marquis has also rallied community support for the event with area businesses and nonprofit organizations donating what they can to the cause, including support from WILLow LeaVes of Hope and the Gold Nugget Pawn Shop.

Tim McNamee, founder of Blue Tassel Farm just outside of Hope, says he’s hosted Marquis and some of his friends at a couple of weekend retreats at the farm and was more than ready to jump in and help with this event.

McNamee is donating the use of the farm’s bouncy house and dunk tank, he says.

“I am particularly wanting to help out smaller churches with our resources that God has given us,” McNamee says. “I believe in the young people. I believe that as older ones that have gone before them, we need to reach back and help them. He reached out to me and I said 100 percent.”

Marquis says he not only hopes for a good turnout, but that the event garners more interest in the Hope First Wesleyan youth group, which currently has a membership of nearly one dozen area teenage youth.

“This event is going to give us exposure in the community to this age group of kids who maybe have a hard time fitting into friend groups or who are looking for something to do during the week,” Marquis says. “It’s really going to give an awesome opportunity for these youth to really get into church and get some awesome things happening. I’m really excited.”