DANSVILLE — It was a huge success for the Dansville Wireless Zone as people crowded to get free backpacks and school supplies for their children.


Dansville Wireless Zone General Manager Josh Chavez said their first time doing this went very smoothly and it prepared them for next year.


“We had a much bigger turnout than we thought,” he said. “We had people from Dansville, Wayland, Nunda, Cohocton, Mount Morris, and Geneseo.”


The store had 100 backpacks for the School Rocks Backpack Giveaway, and were out of them within the first hour. There were about 250 elementary aged children looking for a free backpack.


“We took down the names and numbers of the ones who didn’t get a backpack, and we will be getting back to them once we get more backpacks,” Chavez said. “We want them to know we will be reaching out to them, and they can come get a backpack before school starts.”


Despite the backpacks being gone early on in the day on July 23 the Dansville Fire Department came out to entertain the children, and to show them what it is like to be a real firefighter. There was also a bounce house that was a big hit for the little ones. Not to mention Dansville Pizza King donated pizza for the event, and there were juices and water bottles.


The backpacks came in blues, greens, blacks, purples, and cameos.


Chavez said the children were very well behaved, and they kept the steady flow towards the free backpacks.


“We had a long line for the backpacks. People were showing up 45 minutes before we opened, and there was a line all the way outback,” he said. “The bounce house kept the kids happy, and so did the fire truck. The Dansville Fire Department had a tour of the truck, did photo ops, and had pink and red hats to give away to the kids.”


Dansville Wireless Zone will definitely do this again next year, and they plan on having at least 500 to 600 backpacks.


Wayland-Cohocton Central and Dansville Central kept in touch with the store, and helped to promote the event.


“We wanted to see how this would turnout, and now we know to account for more people next year,” Chavez said. “The parents that didn’t get backpacks were still happy that we did this. They couldn’t believe we were giving away all of this for free.”


The New York State Health Department helped the store pay for the bounce house and brought chips and water bottles.


Wireless Zone District Manager Tony Marinaccio came in the different stores and was very pleased with the success. Hornell, Corning, Chili, and Dansville all did this for the first time. Geneseo had done it before.


Dansville Wireless Zone owner Todd Bender kept in touch with Chavez throughout the event, and was very proud of the success.


Assemblyman Joe Errigo Community Liaison Mike Palmesano brought in a citation congratulating them for this wonderful idea to enrich the lives of the area children.


“The parents told us there is nothing like this event in Dansville, and we couldn’t ask for anything more,” Chavez said. “They are glad we are going to do it again next year.”


“Because of the success we can continue to do this,” Chavez continued. “We can do it because of all the parents that showed up with their kids. I want to thank all of them for coming.”


Dansville Wireless Zone is located at 87 Franklin Plaza (Tops Plaza) and can be reached at 585-612-0999.