MULLINS, S.C. – More than 300 members of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the State of South Carolina converged in Mullins in volunteer support of a back-to-school project that reached hundreds of people.

The lodge sponsored a Backpack & Supplies Giveaway event at Mullins High School, distributing more than 1,000 backpacks along with school supplies and fed more than 450 families.

Organizer Tarus Gilchrist said it was a group effort in regards to supplies with Linda Neal of the Prince Hall Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Stars, Leon Sturkey, Everbee Lodge and the 8th Masonic District contributing. Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the State of South Carolina purchased the backpacks.

“We gave away a total of 538 bags of food and 1000 backpacks,” Gilchrist said. “We had support from people all over the state. I had people from Greenville, Spartanburg, Charleston and Beaufort show up just to pack bags and get stuff ready.”

State President of Prince Hall Grand Lodge Spencer Scott was also in attendance.

Gilchrist said the response was tremendous.

“The first person was in line at 7:45 a.m. and we didn’t start giving out backpacks until 10 a.m.,” he said. “When we started it was more than 500 people in line.”

The line of people stretched from the library at the front of the school all the way through the hallway out the backdoor out into the parking lot.

Gilchrist serves as the District Deputy of the 8th Masonic District. He said next year, the organization hopes to make the event even bigger.

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Born in Atlantic City; raised in Mullins. Graduated from SC State University, home of the mighty Bulldogs. Editor of the Marion Star & Mullins Enterprise. Loves spending free time with his daughter. Huge sports fan.

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