Back-to-School Fest at The Paddock Mall

The mall hosted a "Back-to-School Fest" in partnership with AdventHealth Ocala and WWE Superstar Titus O'Neil.
Published: Aug. 8, 2020 at 3:22 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Families lined up for school supplies at The Paddock Mall for a Back-to-School Fest. The event was hosted by AdventHealth Ocala, The Paddock Mall, and WWE Superstar Titus O'Neil.

Backpacks, face masks, pencils, among other supplies, were given to students as they prepare to start their school year either in-person or virtually. O'Neil said it means a lot to help children in the community that need it. He said he hopes the children walk away with more than just school supplies but learn a lesson as well.

"To be able to come out and put a smile on their face, which is what we try to do every day in WWE, is awesome," said O'Neil. "Also, to put more hope in their life, letting them know that there was somebody in a similar situation that you know people blessed them, gave him an opportunity, and now he is able to give back."

He said years ago he would have been in this line waiting for a backpack and supplies.

"It is important to continue to invest in others when, we seemingly get nothing to gain in return except for being able to know that we helped a family in a situation, out of a situation that they may have been devastating especially during this time of COVID-19," said O'Neil.

They had roughly 5,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to give away. There were two other back to school giveaways in North-Central Florida Saturday one in Chiefland, and the other event was in Williston.

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