Annaliese Kuhnke of Kai & Co. salon volunteers July 31 to give free back-to-school haircuts.

For Florida Keys kids, the first day of school is right around the corner (Wednesday, Aug. 10). With it comes the required school supplies, shoes, clothing and haircuts.

Management of the Casa Marina Resort wanted to help their employees save some money on those back-to-school preparations. The resort hosted an event on July 31 for its staff and their children, giving away free backpacks filled with school supplies, along with free haircuts for the kids.

“Times are tough,” said Evelyn Summer, manager of the Casa Marina Resort. “We wanted to help our employees who have kids save some money on back-to-school expenses, and instead of just handing out backpacks and school supplies to the parents, we invited them and their kids to a fun event.”

Hot dogs, hamburgers, tater tots, popcorn, ice cream and cupcakes filled the hotel’s grand ballroom Sunday afternoon. And volunteer stylists from local salons, including Salty Roots, Kai & Co. and Beards & Brews, provided free haircuts for the young scholars.

The event also featured coloring books, cornhole, a giant Connect 4 game and other activities.

Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.