The 4th Annual Deputy 4 A Day & Ashe Back 2 School Blast Draws 3,400
4th Annual Deputy 4 A Day & Ashe Back 2 School Blast Draws 3,400
Jefferson, N.C. – On Saturday, Aug. 5th, 2023, Ashe County Schools & Ashe County Sheriff’s
Office hosted their largest to-date Deputy 4 A Day/Back 2 School Blast event. Over 3,400
people packed the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office parking lot to jumpstart the upcoming school
year with a day filled with fun and excitement.
Saturday’s event marked the third year cops, and educators joined forces for this much-anticipated
family event. Ashe County students filed in and out of over 60 kid-centered booths and stations.
Some stations were educational, some loaded with sweet treats and trinkets, but all were filled
with fun! If you want to see a sample from the day, visit our website at https:/bit.ly/asheb2sb.
While Ashe County Central Office members led the school preparation, the teachers and school
administration from each school served each child that entered the fair! One of the biggest
draws to the event is that students were provided with their 2023-2024 class schedules and
teacher assignments. Kids also received free backpacks loaded with school supplies to help
them walk into that first day of school in style and well-equipped.
The event started from humble beginnings in 2019 and has since morphed into one of the year’s most
significant events. Originally an idea by the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office Jessica Vogler to emerse a
small group of summer camp students into what daily life is like for a deputy sheriff. The original
event was so well-received by parents and kids that Amy Walker of Ashe County Schools joined forces
with Sheriff Howell to create a grand event for children of all ages.
This year we were excited to show our students and families K9 demonstrations which
included; searching for missing children, finding hidden narcotics, and watching our K9s chase
down suspects! New this year were 911 Dispatch Center tours that allowed the kids to interact
with our Communications staff and see how dispatching emergencies work. Patrol cars from
the ACSO and West Jefferson Police were stationed throughout the fair for kids (and their “big
kid” parents”) to activate the lights and sirens and spend some time in the patrol car’s prisoner
cage (don’t worry, we cleaned and sanitized it first). Attendees also got a chance to climb into
our rescue vehicle, which, as always, was a huge hit. Our Detention Center ran a fun photo-op
station for unique jail cell selfies!
The biggest attraction to the event is held in the deep (and COLD) waters provided by the non-profit Badges of Ashe,
where they attempted to get everyone wet! The dunk tank this year grew to 20 volunteer “Dunkees” that included
Superintendent Dr. Eisa Cox, Sheriff Howell, Amanda Howell, Principals Dustin Farmer & Lindsey Williams,
County Extension Agent Travis Birdsell, and AMH VP James Lambert. Teachers and staff of the school system
joined in, as well as all 6 School Resource Officers. “Best part of the day was hearing the kids’ laughter and seeing
the smiles when they hit the target. We were glad we could be there to support the Back 2 School Blast, and we are
looking forward to next year,” said Michele Baldwin, President of Badges of Ashe.
Our most adored station, led by Shane Little, offered free haircuts to EVERY CHILD who
wanted one. As in prior years, a top-notch cosmetologist crew gave the kiddos a fresh hairdo
to start the new year off right! A large thank you to Tera Blevins, Amy Miller, Amanda
Sumter, Magaly Lopez, Britnie Woods, Toni Roten, Ashley Hart, Shane and Marcy Little for
their gracious love to all our children. “What an opportunity for us as stylists to be able to give
back to our community during this event! The smiles on every individual’s face were priceless
and so heartwarming. I feel that my bucket was filled with more than I could ever give,” said
Shane Little of Style Depot.
Shoes for Kids, an Ashe County non-profit, provided hundreds of shoes for qualifying
students with a fantastic group of volunteers. Children who met the eligibility requirements
received shoes. And not to worry, if you were not able to be there Saturday, you can still speak
to school administrators to see if your child qualifies for free shoes during the first week back
The New River Fire Dept. kept the coals hot as they cooked free hotdogs for everyone this year.
Adding something new, Ashley Automotive provided this year’s event with two golf carts to
shuttle folks to and from the event. For the second year in a row, David Gambill with
Gambill’s DJ Service provided music and entertainment the entire day, it was amazing!
We wish we could continue the Thank You parade, but the list goes on & on! Thank you to all
the vendors, churches, and volunteers that made this day unforgettable for our kiddos. We
know it takes approximately 250 volunteers to make this event possible, and we cannot thank
everyone enough. We appreciate Generations Ashe Jennifer Richardson assisting with
volunteers and supplies for this event. Many booths had games to play, prizes to win, and
good clean family fun. It truly takes a partnership with all of us to pull off such a grand event.
It’s always a pleasure to have the privilege of hosting this event. We hope to see you next year!
If you want to view a small sample of photos from our event, please visit