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Motorcycle club rides to buy school supplies for Claxton Elementary students

The Vendetta MC hopes to donate 60 backpacks filled with school supplies to Claxton Elementary in Clinton.

CLINTON, Tenn. — School is just around the corner, and some families are starting to save for expensive school-supply shopping.

The National Retail Federation said in a 2021 report, that most families pay hundreds of dollars for new supplies yearly.

The Vendetta Motorcycle club in Clinton is trying to lift that financial burden for some local families.

For the seventh year in a row, the club is hosting a ride for back-to-school backpacks. Even as scattered showers and overcast conditions dimmed the skies Saturday, dozens came out to ride and raise money.

"We're having our annual backpack ride for Claxton Elementary School," said the president of Vendetta, Robert Arwood.

The elementary school is located in Clinton. It has been the recipient of dozens of donated backpacks over the years through Vendetta's generosity.

"In grade school, that first year is hard for them," Arwood said. "That's the most important and we want to give them a good start every year."

The club hopes to raise enough money to fill 60 backpacks -- 10 for every grade in elementary school.

As of 2020, The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth found nearly 22% of children in Anderson County lived below the poverty line.

That can make it hard for those families to afford school supplies.

"A lot of our guys grew up in this community. And they just want to get back," Arwood said.

Several of the members of the motorcycle club are also graduates of Claxton Elementary. Arwood said that homegrown connection is what makes them so passionate about the cause.

After the ride Saturday, they will purchase the backpacks and fill them with school supplies. 

"Before school starts, we'll take them to the school and turn them in so they can distribute them to the kids on the first day of school," Arwood said.

    

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