Walk with Pride in Bryan-College Station

 

In 1994, I was chairman of the Public Relations Committee for the Bryan-College Station Association of Realtors and wanted to make a stand for something important and something that would benefit underprivileged children.   I had been involved in a similar project in Corpus Christi  and decided to share the idea with the Association of Realtors.  Walk with Pride  originated to buy shoes for the new school year for needy children.  The funds raised would predict how many shoes could be bought and to then find a place that would help us with the cost of the shoes.  Pay-Less Shoes agreed to help by discounting the price of certain shoes to a set price.  That first year, we bought about 200 pairs of shoes and each year since, the fundraising efforts have  risen so that today  we are able to buy twice that amount.

Walk With Pride

Walk with Pride is a fundraiser that raises money so every child can have a new pair of shoes when they start school.

Image credit: ferwulf / 123RF Stock Photo

The first fundraiser was a Realtor Style show which we were able to raise money by ticket sales and raffles.  All the models were Realtors in Bryan College Station and from associated businesses so it was fun and challenging to get non-models on the runway.  That fundraiser went on for several years, and then the Public Relations Committee became the Community Projects Committee and the main fundraiser has become a 5K run/ 3K walk.  The walk is open to anyone in the community who likes to support special causes that benefit local kids who can proudly start school each year in a new pair of shoes.

The names of the children who receive a voucher to come to Pay-Less on the Event day are provided to us by the Department of Human Services and what an event that day is!  The children and their parents/guardians show up at Pay-Less Shoes and each child goes into the store and picks out his new pair of shoes for school.  Volunteers from the Bryan-College Station Association of Realtors help check the kids in and help them pick out, try on and check out their new shoes.   We invite as many kids as we have raised money to buy a certain amount of shoes.   The looks on the faces of the children is a heartwarming experience and has brought a few tears to many eyes over the years.

The 2013 Walk With Pride fundraiser  is a 5-K run/3-K walk and if anyone is interested in signing up for the race/walk, you can call the Bryan-College Station Association of Realtors @ (979)846-3751.  The date is April 20th at 9:00 a.m. at Central Park in College Station.

 Every dollar raised goes to purchase shoes and if you want to spread joy in our community, please help.  For every 10-15 dollars we raise, we can buy one more pair of shoes and it would be my greatest joy to know that no child in our community went to school without a new pair of shoes.   It seems like a little thing, but to a child (and their parents) it is a huge thing.

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