Shoe Fund donors support youth running

January is the month youth apply for free running shoes thanks to Six Rivers Running Club’s (SRRC) shoe fund. The club awards free, name-brand shoes to local students in the third through twelfth grades who are participating in their school’s running program. The deadline to apply is Friday, Feb. 8.

SRRC saw a need to outfit young bodies with properly fitted running shoes and welcomes partners to help meet this need. One such partner is Eureka Natural Foods who has been involved since the beginning and has contributed over $12,000 from the proceeds of the Waterfront Run. Eureka Natural Foods’ mission is wellness, naturally, which led the store to sponsor the run for the benefit of the shoe fund. Another partner is Mike Williams, the owner of The Jogg N Shoppe, in Arcata, who orders and fits all the shoes. In 2012 SRRC contributed over $3,000 towards 120 pairs of shoes.

For the 2013 winter scholarship period, Eureka Natural Foods is contributing $2,000 and Ramone’s Bakery and Café is donating $500 towards the shoe fund. "We’re so grateful for the financial help we receive from the community as it validates our efforts to provide opportunities for young people, and their families, to be involved in running," comments Gary Timek, SRRC president. He adds that the next scholarship period will be in the fall to coincide with cross-country running. The club’s next running event is Foggy Bottom Milk Run, in Ferndale, on Sunday, March 10 with a two-mile school team run as well as a four- and ten-mile run.

Over the years SRRC’s shoe fund has become a valued partner for local running programs and families. Running coaches and volunteers have a key role at each school site to help young people discover running. Locally, running programs can take the form of an after school activity, a school running club, an organized track program or a neighborhood activity. Running is a simple sport that doesn’t require a huge expense or natural ability. It begins with shoes that support a growing and active body.

All schools received applications to distribute to their runners and the public can download an application from the club’s website at Parents will need to sign their child’s completed application and make sure it is faxed to 822-3085 by Friday, Feb. 8 to be eligible for consideration.

photo caption:

Shoe Fund contributors, from left, Mike Williams, owner of The Jogg N Shoppe; Gary Timek, president of Six Rivers Running Club; Rick Littlefield, owner of Eureka Natural Foods; Berit Meyer, owner of Ramone’s Bakery and Cafe; and Karen Brooks, shoe fund coordinator.