The Santee-Lakeside Rotary Club donated  $1,750 worth of backpacks and schools supplies as part of a community driven back-to-school backpack effort. 
As strong supporters of their local schools and students, the Santee-Lakeside Rotary Club decided to seek a District grant to help with this community project.  The Club contributed  $1,000 of club funds which was matched with $750 District dollars. This event was also supported through various community fundraising efforts. 
The backpack event started in 2015 and is named after the founder and community activist, Buddy Rabaya who died from complications from a hemorrhagic stroke this past year.  Buddy had always been very supportive of Rotary events and volunteered at many of them.  He was a tremendous community partner. 
Now known as Buddy's Backpacks, this program helps families having a tough time paying for school supplies.  The backpacks were distributed at two school location with COVID safety measures practiced.  Families drove to the school site parking lots and remained in their cars as volunteers provided age-appropriate backpacks for the kids and placed them safely into their vehicles.  The child (children) had to be present in the car.  
Santee Rotarians joined in and helped with the distribution of the backpacks and supplies.  It is estimated that over 800 students were recipients at this annual event.  
Rotarian and superintendent of the Santee School District, Kristin Baranski thanked the volunteers and community supporters for doing this for the children of Santee.