Alpine Lake property owners, Tony and Sheila Amato recently visited Kingwood Elementary School as part of a work-related community outreach project. While doing presentations in the school gymnasium, Sheila noticed a bookcase at the side of the gym that contained children’s sneakers organized by size instead of books. But there were only a handful of sneakers, and gaps where sneakers could have been were very noticeable. Sheila was curious, so she asked the physical education teacher, Kylie Phillips for an explanation as to this unusual display of footwear.
Ms. Phillips explained that many of her students do not have sneakers to participate in gym class, so she has been trying to gather gently used, donated sneakers to loan to her students so that they can participate in physical education class activities. An idea was born! Knowing the generosity of the Alpine Lake Resort community and its ongoing desire to connect with and help children and their families in the area,
Sheila went home to write and post a request for help… and to ask property owners to donate gently used sneakers for the students at the Kingwood Elementary School. As many worthwhile efforts do, this one snowballed. Property owner Walt Grimm didn’t have any size-appropriate sneakers to donate for the children, but he offered to donate money so that Ms. Phillips could purchase exactly what she needed… AND he challenged other property owners to accept his challenge to do the same.
Walt’s challenge was accepted by 10 more property owners, and in less than one week, a delivery was made to the school. Tony and Sheila brought four bags containing 11 pairs of gently used sneakers, two boxes with brand new purchased sneakers, and an envelope containing more than $500.00 for Ms. Phillips to use to purchase sneakers in the exact sizes needed so that none of her students will have to sit out and just watch while their peers play and learn.
“Alpine Lake is not only a great place to live and visit, but it is home to some wonderful, generous people,” stated interim co-general manager Mike Tumbarello. “I continue to witness a collective empathy, engagement, and interest in helping others and one another, that is both unique and commendable. The folks at Alpine are not just interested in enjoying their beautiful community, but in being a part of and contributing to Terra Alta and the whole county. This is just one example of that engagement.”
Never underestimate the power of a shoe… or the power of a community that comes together in an outreach effort to help local children and their teacher.