BLUFFTON, S.C. – More than 300 students from Bluffton Elementary, M.C. Riley Elementary and Red Cedar Elementary received a free pair of shoes or boots and a pair of socks Saturday, Nov. 8 through The Rotary Club of Bluffton’s HAPPY FEET program.
Deborah Burt, with The Rotary Club of Bluffton, coordinated with social workers at each school to select the students who needed new shoes the most. Principals, teachers and Rotarians volunteered for the morning at Payless ShoeSource in the Target shopping center to hand out 250 pairs of shoes and socks to the lucky children.
The Bluffton Rotary raised $3,000 and received a matching grant for Happy Feet, which allowed them to pay for more than $6,000 worth of shoes, boots and socks for the seventh year.
“The Rotary Club of Bluffton is thrilled with the turnout for our Happy Feet project. With funds we raised locally and a grant we received from the Rotary Foundation, we were able to provide more children shoes and socks this year than ever before,” said Steven Miller, Rotary Club of Bluffton president. “I would also like to thank all the Bluffton Rotarians for their tireless efforts in putting Service above Self.”
Adrienne Sutton, principal at M.C. Riley Elementary said, “This is a great effort … a partnership with The Rotary Club of Bluffton and our elementary schools to help children in need stay warm this winter. What a joyous celebration!”
The children got to pick out one new pair of shoes or boots as well as a pair of socks. An 8-year-old Red Cedar Elementary student, Brenda, said “I got boots, and I got them for free! We are a happy family today!” Her 10-year-old and 6-year-old siblings also received new shoes through the Happy Feet program this year.
Burt said, “We would like to thank the teachers and social workers at the three schools we worked with this year for their help in identifying the children and being there the day of the event to help.”
The Rotary Club of Bluffton is an organization of local civic, business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and follow “service above self” within the community and worldwide through Rotary International. The club meets weekly Wednesday mornings at 7:30 a.m. at the Bluffton Community Center. For more information or to join, go to blufftonrotary.org or contact at 843-815-2277.
Main Photograph: Tony Falgiani (member and Youth Services Director), Deborah Burt (event chair & Services Director), Adrienne Sutton, Principal MC Riley Elementary and Steve Miller, President
Photographed above: Becky Hale helping a student pick out her shoes