Rotary’s ‘Happy Feet’ project provides RSS students with new shoes

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 22, 2019

By Josh Bergeron

All third-graders from six elementary schools across Rowan-Salisbury Schools are receiving brand new “back-to-school” shoes through a project of the Rotary Club of Salisbury.

This marks the fourth year for the Rotary Club’s “Happy Feet” project and the first year that included all third-grade students from six elementary schools.

Donations from the Rotary Club of Salisbury as well as Fred and Alice Stanback provided enough money to buy shoes for roughly 400 Rowan-Salisbury Schools students, a news release stated. In the past, Salisbury Rotary has been able to serve 70 children. Manpower from the Salisbury Rotary Club and staff at the Shoe Carnival in Salisbury helped make the project possible, too.

Students from Overton, Isenberg, Hurley, Hanford-Dole, Koontz and North Rowan elementaries participated in the project

Rotarian Chris Bradshaw, who organized the event, said the importance of the annual project is tied into the club’s mission.

“The Rotary Club of Salisbury is service organization that strives to unite communities and help those less fortunate,” Bradshaw said. “Doing for others is possibly more beneficial to those giving as those receiving. This project hopes to be a boost for those students to brighten their day and let them know someone is encouraging them as they start a new school year.”

On Friday morning, it was Hanford-Dole Elementary school’s turn, as buses rolled into the shopping center off of Klumac Road, bringing more than 70 third-graders so they could shop at Shoe Carnival.

Students were guided by their teachers into the store, where they were greeted by staff and Rotarians.

After being instructed on how the morning would unfold and after each child’s shoe size was measured, children began scanning the shelves and looking for their favorite shoes.

In less than an hour, students with shoeboxes in hand were boarding buses to head back to school.

In addition to Bradshaw, the event was organized by Neely Laurens from RSS’ Student Services Department.