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Georgetown College cross country runners understand the value of a shoe and for the second straight year the Tigers are helping to extend that for the betterment of the community.
In the second annual shoe drive, coach Lucas Garnett and his teams collected nearly double what it did in 2015 – a portion of which went to a re-use-a-shoe program.
"The manager told me we accounted for about 75 percent of their donations this past year, and he expects the same this year," Garnett said. "They take shoes that are no longer wearable and recycle them for synthetic track and playground surfaces."
The total was 517 a year ago, which was crushed by the mountain of 1002 pairs of shoes donated by the deadline of 2 pm Monday. Justin Downs helped the team reach the 1,000 mark in a unique way.
"He literally gave the shoes off his feet," Garnett said. "For the second straight year I'm blown away by what this campus and community has done to help us make this a successful project and no matter what the final number is we all know any donation makes a difference."
Garnett will take 724 of the pairs to charity so they can be given to people in need and 278 will be recycled.
Georgetown had just more than 700 pairs with roughly 24 hours left in the campaign. Garnett used social media to make one final plea for reaching 1,000 pairs.
Former GC cross country alum Alan Redditt and his church, Georgetown Baptist, responded to the plea in full force. Not long after the call out came, 223 more pairs were donated.
Coach said 68 percent of what was received were women's shoes and most of those will go to charity, while the majority of the men's shoes will be recycled.
"Another fun fact, if we assume the average foot lengths for men, women and kids in the United States and took all 2004 individual shoes, laid them heel to toe, they would cover 435 meters. The distance from College Street to Clayton Avenue is 428 meters. The shoes literally stretch across campus."
Garnett wants to thank each and every individual who took time over the past month to search through their shoes, collect the ones for donation and bring them to a bin around campus. Now everyone has another year to wear out shoes for another campaign to top this one.
|(RV) Lindsey Wilson at||8:00pm|
|(4) Lindsey Wilson at||6:00pm|
|Cumberland Univ. at||4:00pm|
|(15) Cumberland Univ. at||2:00pm|
|(12) University of Pikeville at||8:00pm|
|(23) University of Pikeville at||6:00pm|
|(20) University of the Cumberlands at||4:00pm|
|University of the Cumberlands at||2:00pm|
|University of Maine at Fort Kent at||7:00pm|