Archive for October, 2009

Super Students Collect Shoes

October 31, 2009

Don’t believe what you hear about students being disrespectful to teachers. I was shocked at how well behaved the students were when we visited  Lee Eaton Elementary school. We had three classes together for a program about our shoe charity, Soles4Souls. Students came into the room quietly, raised their hands to answer questions and listened attentively. They also collected shoes!

allan magic gabbys school 2009

Allan doing magic as part of the Soles4Souls program
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Lightfooted Gabby

October 30, 2009

For the last month, our good friend Gabby had to wear a walking cast because of an injury to her foot. Obviously she couldn’t run for the Girls on the Run practice 5K run. Instead, she steadfastly walked the 12 laps, usually accompanied by her dad. After the race/walk, she got the good news from her doctor that she could get rid of the walking cast. She pranced, skipped and jumped around the house, enjoying her freedom from that bulky object on her foot.

allan fee gabby walk suport

Gabby and her dad walking the course

gabby foot support to

Gabby joyfully getting rid of her walking cast

Girl’s Soccer Team Scores!

October 29, 2009

We had the fun experience of meeting the girls on the Mt. Vernon Nazarene College soccer team in Mt Vernon, Ohio. The girls, spearheaded by Mara and Erin, organized a shoe drive. They made posters, contacted schools and did radio interviews. They even had visiting soccer teams bring shoes! Their hard work paid off with their 600 pairs of shoes. Those are shoes that are saved from being thrown into a landfill and now will be put to good use on someone’s feet. The game was actually an emotional experience for me as I watched a large number of parents come out to cheer on their daughters. I remember the many hours sitting on hard bleachers or standing on the sidelines (usually in rain and wind) watching Trina and Sondra play sports. Now my girls are both far away, so I “adopted” the Mt. Vernon Nazarene Soccer girls and wholeheartedly cheered them on. They won!

(What do you think Sondra, if Dad and I move close to your college in California so we can come to all your events? )nazarene collage soccer

We appreciate the hard work from the soccer team!

Foot Solutions Braves Cold To Collect Shoes

October 26, 2009

We’ve all read the famous first lines of “It was a dark and story night…” Well it was a dark and stormy day as the Foot Solutions store in West Chester Ohio conducted a shoe drive. The weather didn’t dampen Joanne Ziolkowski’s sunny personality as she coordinated this successful event. Joanne pulled out all the stops by getting merchants to donate raffle prizes, a bakery to donate delicious pretzel rolls and Target to donate volunteers. Her hard work paid off, because over 1,200 pairs of shoes were donated. People braved the cold and windy weather to drop off bags and boxes and even more bags of footwear. Several people drove by the Soles4Souls RV and saw we were collecting shoes. Then they raced home to clean out their closets and bring us their shoes. Everyone commented how this was a great way to recycle shoes. We spent the six hours with Bonnie, a loyal volunteer, who was so helpful in making the Foot Solution’s event a huge success. Instead of getting dusty in a closet, those 1,200 pairs of donated shoes will protect the feet of 1,200 people!

Super dedicated Foot Solutions volunteers

Super dedicated Foot Solutions volunteers

Joanne (in black coat) and Bonnie collecting shoes

Joanne (in black coat) and Bonnie collecting shoes

Allan hauling away a few of the collected shoes

Allan hauling away a few of the collected shoes

R.G. Barry Demonstrates Fun and Generosity

October 26, 2009

When Allan was in fourth grade, his teacher wrote on his report card “Allan is a fun, fun, fun boy”. We recently visited the fun, fun, fun corporate office of R.G. Barry in Pickerington Ohio. We sensed the upbeat atmosphere as soon as we walked into the building. They served a delicious catered lunch, complete with linen tablecloths. (Now that is fun and classy!) Meeting Greg Tunney and Roy Youst was fun, along with seeing displays of their footwear lines.

R.G. Barry Corporation is a leading developer and marketer of accessories footwear. Never heard of accessory footwear?  It’s a retail category led by slippers, but one that also encompasses hybrid and active fashion footwear, sandals, slipper socks and hosiery.

I bet you’ve heard of:

·   Dearfoams original slippers that indulge you in your personal expression of comfort

·   Terrasoles feel-good footwear with a relaxed outdoor spirit for a simple lifestyle

·   Superga canvas/active fashion footwear

·   Levi’s slippers and sandals

·   Nautica slippers

While the employees at R.G. Barry seemed to be having fun, they also are very service oriented. They recently donated over 50,000 pairs of slippers to Soles4Souls! That’s 50,000 people that now have comfortable footwear!

I loved part of their mission statement, especially the part about not whining. More companies should have that as their goal.

R.G. Barry beliefs and behaviors include:

·A belief in trust, clarity, energy, energizers, transparency, edge, passion and having fun;

·Working smart, hard, creatively, fast and efficiently;

·We want to: win; always do what is right; make a difference; solve problems;

encourage; and celebrate our personal and team victories; and

·We don’t whine, waste, boomerang, surprise, live in the past or take ourselves too seriously.

After the great lunch, we led Greg Tunney, Roy Youst and the rest of the staff through the rain into the RV. Greg looked pretty comfy sitting in the Captain’s chair. Thanks everyone, for a fun afternoon and for your generous donation to our shoe charity, Soles4Souls.

Greg Tunney relaxing in the RV

Greg Tunney relaxing in the RV

A look at the R.G. Barry line of footwear

A look at the R.G. Barry line of footwear

r g barry silvana presenting high

Amazing Generosity From Rocky Outdoor Gear!

October 22, 2009

We knew it was going to be a special day when we saw a team of Rocky Outdoor Gear employees come to the RV carrying bags of shoes…and more shoes…and then even more shoes.  A huge pile of over 600 shoes was soon stacked in front of the Soles4Souls RV.  Throughout the afternoon, generous community members stopped by to donate their shoes also. But wait! There’s more! We were told Rocky Boots was donating a 30 foot Freightliner Box truck to Soles4Souls! The truck will go to good use collecting and distributing shoes around the US to people in need. Rocky Boots is a world leader in rugged outdoor and occupational footwear. Plus their Rocky Outdoor Gear was a busy place. Tour buses pulled up with large groups of people who obviously enjoyed their time shopping. Almost everyone left the store with a bag filled with items. Allan didn’t shop, but enjoyed his Reuben Sandwich from the store café.

What we noticed most was the positive, upbeat attitude from Mike Brooks and the other employees. Everyone was willing to pitch in and load up the shoes. (Not to mention collecting the shoes in the first place.) Thanks Mike and Liz and everyone else for helping our shoe charity!

This truck will collect and deliver thousands of shoes!

This truck will collect and deliver thousands of shoes!

Mike Brooks handing Allan the keys to the truck

Mike Brooks handing Allan the keys to the truck

Rocky employees bringing bags of shoes

Rocky employees bringing bags of shoes

rocky brands nelsonville oh staff shoe drive

Allan presenting Mike Brooks a "Thank You" photo

Allan presenting Mike Brooks a "Thank You" photo

Gettysburg KOA Combines History and Fun

October 22, 2009
A unique way to tour Gettysburg battlefields

A unique way to tour Gettysburg battlefields

Once again we had a relaxing stay at a KOA Kampground, this time in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. You’ve probably seen their bright yellow and red KOA signs as you drive along the freeway. Even if you don’t own an RV, consider renting one of KOA’s cabins or lodges. Just think, you can take the family for a weekend mini-vacation and stay in a rustic and cute cabin…staying dry if it rains. At the Gettysburg KOA, we had a wooded site so we could enjoy the fall leaves. We especially appreciated a video they show every night to give people an idea about Gettysburg activities.  

After playing tourist at Gettysburg, you can return to KOA  and enjoy the heated pool, nature trail, fun-bike rentals, shuffleboard, horseshoes, life-size games and mini golf. Weekend entertainment includes living history encampments, Civil War songs and stories, Civil War fashion show, ghost walks, wine tasting and pancake breakfasts. What more could you want?

While the brochures suggest taking a bus or auto tour of the battlefields, we as usual, did our own thing. This meant riding our bikes and viewing all the memorials and statues without a car. We burned carbs, not carbon. (Cute huh?)

One note about the nature hike at Gettysburg KOA. It’s not a smart idea to start the hike past dusk. (Which is what we did, but then we’re not that bright.) As we walked, it got darker and darker, and we felt we were deeper and deeper into getting lost. 

IMG_1311 We didn’t see the path, let alone any nature. It was a relief to see the lights of the camp office!

My favorite park of the KOA Kampground was the Kamp K-9 Dog Activity and Agility Park. Many KOA’s now offer these fenced parks where pet owners can watch their dogs crawl through tunnels, jump over bars and get exercise in a fun way.

Halloween decorations at Gettysburg KOA

Halloween decorations at Gettysburg KOA

Thank You To Drew Shoes

October 22, 2009

drew shoes logorocky brands nelsonville ohio mike brooks staff silvanaSeveral weeks ago I posted a blog stating I couldn’t understand how people spend two hours selecting a pair of shoes. I immediately got a long reply from a high school friend who shall go unnamed (but her initials are Maggie Rody). She explained in detail the whole lengthy process involved in finding a pair of shoes to help her foot problems. Well Maggie, look no more. Instead, check out Drew Shoes at http://www.drewshoes.com Drew Shoe is the premier manufacturer of medical shoes, specializing in orthopedic shoes, diabetic shoes, and other types of footwear designed to alleviate health problems. Drew Shoe has risen to the top of the medical shoes industry through a tireless commitment to innovation and choice, offering the latest technology in the widest variety of styles, sizes, and widths. They also donate shoes to Soles4Souls! Allan and I stopped at the Drew Shoes corporate headquarters in Lancaster, Ohio. It was fun meeting the staff and thanking them in person for their donations.

Hitchikers Won’t Leave!

October 21, 2009

In a spirit of friendliness, we picked up some female hitchhikers in the RV. Actually they moved in uninvited. We have a steady stream of what we thought were Lady Bugs. The campground host told us they were Asian Moths that look like Lady Bugs. For the next three days, they’ll swarm inside and outside. I’ve been using the vacuum to suck them out of the curtains and crevices in the RV. Not doing much good. The worst part is the rancid smell if you crush them. We’re chalking this up to another new experience.

A Blast From The Past

October 21, 2009

Since we were working in the Boston area, we visited our long-time friends, Bob and Laurie. When I say long-time, I mean a really long time. Bob

and I actually went to a dance together in 1971. Can you tell which picture was taken last week?bob laurie allan silvana concord maapple press bob laurie winters sil trina