BAXTER SPRINGS - It's that time of year! This week, students across the county are beginning the fall semester of the 2017-18 school year. A new year means a new list of school supplies, and for some Cherokee County parents that can be a looming expense.

Over the past few years, the Route 66 Soda Fountain in Baxter Springs has aided in extending a helping hand with the annual Back-to-School Fair. This year's event was held on Aug. 9, and families lined up down the block seeking backpacks for their children filled with school-related supplies and books, physicals, social services, and car seat checks.

"I had a blast spending some time this morning visiting with hundreds of parents and kids at the Back to School Fair held at the Soda Fountain in Baxter Springs," said Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves. "This is an amazing annual event that helps make sure kids have the supplies they need to succeed! I'm thankful for the organizers and volunteers for all their hard work and for allowing me to help out!"

The fair was only for students in the Baxter Springs, Galena and Riverton school districts; who receive free or reduced lunch qualification.