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Crossover Church to host back-to-school bash in Tampa

August 8, 2013

Special Correspondent

Published: August 6, 2013

NORTH TAMPA ? It has come to be known as one big community carnival.

Since its inception in 2008, the Back 2 School Jam ? which this year will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 17 on the Crossover Church campus at 1235 E. Fowler Ave. ? has grown to more than 2,000 annual attendees.

Organizers envision perhaps an even greater turnout this year.

And why not?

The event is an opportunity for friends and family members to gather for free food, beverages and entertainment meant to please folks of all ages. And of course there?s a kids? area, offering a bounce house, games and other activities.

Crossover?s lead pastor, Tommy Kyllonen, views it as a multipurpose party: Youngsters in need will be given backpacks, school supplies, clothing, haircuts and more, free of charge.

In addition, health care personnel will be on hand to do medical screenings and assist uninsured attendees with the registration process for the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare.

The Back 2 School Jam offers a chance, Kyllonen said, for his church?s members and others to pay forward the love and affection they?ve shown each other and also share their blessings from God.

?It?s our way of reaching out to the community,? he said.

In past years, the University Area Community Development Corporation hosted a similar event at the University Area Community Center, albeit on a smaller scale. But in an effort to avoid duplicating efforts and expenses, the community development group has partnered with Crossover Church to offer the Back 2 School Jam.

?The community is not going to miss out in getting health screenings,? said Martine Dorvil, the group?s director of community outreach and chairman of the Back to School Coalition of Hillsborough County.

Visit for more information and to register.

Joyce McKenzie can be reached at

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