Elks hosting fundraiser to collect cash for new shoes for children, veterans, homeless

 

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South Hillsborough Elks Lodge 2672, 1630 U.S. 41 S., Ruskin, will host a fundraising event called Shoes for Christmas! Nov. 16, from 3 to 7 p.m. to purchase shoes for children, veterans and homeless folks in need.

By LOIS KINDLE

It may be hard for some folks to believe, but there are people living in our area who need a new pair of shoes, and the South Hillsborough Elks Lodge wants to do something about it.

On Nov. 16, Elks Lodge 2672 will host a fundraising event called Shoes for Christmas! to purchase shoes for children, veterans and homeless folks in need. It will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. at the lodge, 1630 U.S. 41 S., Ruskin.

Priscilla Mixon, Elks member, event chairwoman and St. Vincent de Paul Society volunteer, has seen many people in situations that would break most people’s hearts, like the time she met a young boy wearing a pair of shoes that were way too big for his feet. While talking with him, she learned the shoes belonged to the child’s father because he had none of his own to wear to school.

“I decided I needed to do something about it,” she said.

She and a committee of 17 others have been working on Shoes for Christmas! since May. The Elks Lodge donated use of its hall for the event, and its members will serve wine donated by the lodge.

The $10 admission includes complimentary red or white wine and a large variety of hors d̓oeuvres. Accessories and More, of Sarasota, will be showing and selling its fall line of fashions, and 10 percent of all sales will be donated to Shoes for Christmas!

Shopping begins at 3 p.m. followed by a fashion show at 4:30 and afterward more shopping until 7.

It’s a great opportunity to support a worthy cause and get some early Christmas shopping done, Mixon said. She hopes this inaugural Shoes for Christmas! will raise $5,000 and become an annual event.

Proceeds will be disbursed via check, gift cards or gift certificates to St. Vincent de Paul Society for the benefit of local elementary school kids; St. Anne Catholic Church Food Pantry for the homeless and veterans; and Mary & Martha House for its 17 shelter children.

“This is an amazing blessing,” said Laurie Herring, program director for Mary & Martha House. “The moms and their children who come to our shelter come only with the clothes on their backs. For some of the kids, it’ll be the first time they’ll get a brand-new pair of shoes.”

Tickets can be purchased at the Sun City Center Area Chamber of Commerce, 1651 Sun City Center Plaza, the Elks Lodge or at the door the day of the event. To reserve a table for eight, call Mixon at 813-833-7162 or Nora Baker at 813-634-2332.

You don’t have to attend the event to help. Tax-deductible donations by check made payable to the Elks with “Shoes for Christmas!” written in the memo field can be mailed to Elks Lodge 2672, P.O. Box 1209, Ruskin, 33575.

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is a 501(c)8 nonprofit organization. The local lodge performs all kinds of service projects benefiting veterans and children throughout the state. In February, the national organization will celebrate 150 years of service. For information, visit www.elks.org.

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