More than 40 volunteers gathered Friday afternoon at Oakland Woods Baptist Church to set up Clarkston Rotary’s “Shoes for Kids” for Saturday. Working in two-hour shifts, 160 volunteers helped 457 Clarkston children pick out shoes and boots, as well as receive hats, gloves, and other clothing items, supplies, and services. Photo by Phil Custodio
The Clarkston Rotary has been proudly involved in a club published “Goodfellow type” newspaper sales as a service project for the past 79 years.
“Shoes for Kids” has been the Clarkston Rotary’s signature community service project for the past 40 years. The collaborative efforts of not only Rotary members but the many friends of Rotary and family members help to bring each year’s project to fruition. Over the past 23 years, we have been fortunate to be able to provide for over 9,400 Clarkston school kids and it’s made possible because the Clarkston community has generously donated over $315,000 to bring this truly community wide service project to fruition. One hundred percent of all donations are used solely for “Shoes for Kids.”
The Clarkston Rotary Club would like to sincerely thank all of those who so generously donated during the recent newspaper sales on local streets and holiday activities. The spirit of the donors was encouragement for those collecting. Over 100 volunteers were active during the two-day event. Many first time volunteers have promised they will be back next year, in spite of the winter weather.
On Dec. 14, 457 Clarkston Community School children were hosted at Oakland Woods Baptist Church and each child received new winter boots, shoes, hats, and gloves. This year, over 40 people were involved on Friday night, setting up 1,651 pairs of shoes and boots. On Saturday, 160 volunteers worked in two-hour shifts providing for 38 children every half hour and proudly fit over 900 pairs of shoes and boots. There were a lot of happy children wearing new shoes, boots and smiles that afternoon.
The Clarkston Rotary would like to express its gratitude and appreciation by acknowledging the following groups, organizations and businesses for helping make this one of the best years:
• A special thank you to The Clarkston News, Don Rush, Publisher Jim Sherman Jr., and staff for preparing and printing the special Clarkston Rotary Goodfellow edition, with the efforts of Past-President Mary Sloan, who prepared the featured articles.
• We are truly grateful to Oakland Woods Baptist Church, Pastor Sheridan and the congregation for hosting the annual distribution day and the church members for volunteering their time to help insure that both projects are an absolute success.
• The City of the Village of Clarkston for providing their warm office for use as the newspaper headquarters and a place to enjoy a variety of food items from local restaurants and grocery stores.
• Lighthouse of Oakland County, and the Clarkston Community School administration, Social Workers, teachers and staff for their efforts in getting families signed up.
• Mark Kelly (MPK Photography) and staff for always taking perfect family photos with Santa.
• A Very Merry Christmas Thank You to Jim Jacques for spending the entire day in a warm red suit making kids laugh and smile as they tell Santa what they want for Christmas. Santa just continues to make the day special and memorable.
• Neiman’s Family Market for their continued support of the Clarkston Rotary’s many community service projects.
• Union Joints (Wood Shop and Union), Hamlin Pub, Brioni’s Café and Deli, Neiman’s Family Market, Hungry Howie’s and Tim Horton’s for their commitment and dedication in supporting the volunteers involved over the two weekends.
• A special thank you to the Clarkston elementary schools and area churches for their annual Hat, Mitten and Glove Tree collection.
• Gott’s Auto Repair for use of their truck and cargo trailer.
• And to all of the volunteers, friends, and family members of the Clarkston Rotary Club who gave so generously of their time, energy, and donations this year and a true gift for so many Clarkston children.
The Clarkston Rotary Club, family members and the many volunteers would like to say thank you to the Clarkston community for your continued support as “We Can Make a Difference in a Child’s Life.” Interested in participating and volunteering in either event next year, seek us out on clarkstonrotary.org or by calling 248-625-9741.
Wishing Everyone A Very Merry Christmas and an Even More Peaceful New Year
The Clarkston Rotary Club,
Joel DeLong & his family
“Shoes for Kids” Chair