‘Fancy Pants’ Topgolf party benefits Blessings in a Backpack


Jacksonville’s newly opened Topgolf location was the setting for this year’s “Fancy Pants” party to benefit Blessings in a Backpack, as golf enthusiasts teed off in style May 13 for a good cause.

The Topgolf event was just one more of the North Florida chapter’s continued efforts to raise awareness for the nonprofit, which provides backpacks full of meals for students who rely on their schools for free or reduced lunch and might not have access to food over the weekend.

“What we do is provide meals that are non-perishable, nutritious and kid-friendly for students in need,” said Kimberly Ward, executive director of First Coast Blessings in a Backpack. “These are children who may not have refrigerators at home, who may not be able to cook meals – this is a way to make sure that they’re fed.”

Those efforts are grounded in the links found between student performance and hunger, Fancy Pants Chair Patrick Spacek said, and the work done to ensure students are fed helps improve their ability to focus and willingness to learn. The peace of mind afforded to students who know where their next meal will come from, Ward agreed, makes all the difference.

Spacek said the “Fancy Pants” events double as ongoing branding efforts to create a distinctive image for First Coast Blessings in a Backpack.

“We really want people to associate these crazy, fun and patterned pants with Blessings in a Backpack,” he said. “Every pair should … bring awareness to the work being done with (the charity). I wear these pants out on a normal day and people say to me ‘hey, is there an event tonight?’ And that means it’s working.”

The next First Coast Blessings in a Backpack fundraising event will be a “Taco Tuesday” to be held May 23 at Chipotle Mexican Grill at 13546 Beach Boulevard in Jacksonville.