Local runners were all atwitter over the latest news that Fleet Feet Sports in Savannah would be selling old running shoe soles for ten dollars. Now that might not sound like such a great deal coming from a running store that sells top-of-the-line running shoes from Nike to Newton, but these soles were to serve a purpose in helping to raise funds for the Rape Crisis Center in Savannah which offers support and assistance to rape victims as well as training on how to avoid being raped and what to do if you feel threatened.
The running shoe soles were cut and glued to a piece of wood to be painted or otherwise decorated and sold at auction this past Thursday evening, August 27th at the Fleet Feet running stores after hours. Nearly 20 soles were sold and auctioned off with a starting big of fifteen dollars. There was also a raffle with drawings for running shoes, outfits, shirts and accessories. An arms length of tickets could be purchased for $10 as well with one woman, who lamented that she never won anything, coming out with a complete new running outfit from Brooks! It was a fun event to raise money for a serious cause and everyone was glad to help out with one grandfather bidding $100 for a shoe sole painted by his granddaughter and thereby opening up the bidding for higher amounts for other soles, one of which went for nearly $200!
The soles were painted with coastal themes, with fish and landscapes in abundance, a tiger, a minion, a sailboat and a waterfall. Many were covered in glitter and glitz. One was taken off it’s pedestal and turned into a spinning arrow on a wheel of compliments, while another was laid flat and turned into a racing finish line scene complete with little people running under an archway. Some were painted by children and some by adults, including one by local TV personality Tina Tyus Shaw who works for WSAV TV. Victoria Ten Broeck of Fleet Feet, who served as the auctioneer, tempted fellow rivals from WTOC to bid on the shoe which represented the NBC peacock on a road painted with the words safe community and hope. The event raised a lot of money with many runners wishing they had made more shoes available and one local artist, Lisa Kiriakos contributing a small portrait of a Fox which sold for as much money as one of the soles and made one bidder very happy.
Ten Broeck auctioned off her own creation showing 133 dots in pink and blue for male and female assault victims treated by the Rape Crisis Center in 2014. The shoe soles came from old worn out shoes. The soles were cut off and painted white and mounted on wood. Many creative artists went outside the boundaries and added 3-D effects to set their creations apart from others, but all of the shoes were well done and mounted on the wall along with the new running shoes displayed for sale so that more than one person came in asking, “So where are all the soles displayed?”
The Art and Sole party took place at the store during a full moon and dogs were invited to join in the celebration as well and were almost as big an attraction as the soles themselves. One young dog got so excited that it ran over to one of the manikins and shoved it’s nose into the manikin’s crotch and sniffed prompting an embarrassed apology from the owner and a round of laughs from those who viewed it. The event was a great way to get diverse running groups to come together and have a fun and relaxed evening after work. Nearly 120 people attended and many donated extra money outside the auction.
Many said they would like to see something similar, perhaps adding a painting party where runners come as a group to paint a theme or learn painting tips and ideas while raising money for a local non-profit or person in need. Fleet Feet Sports Savannah is located at 3405 Waters Ave., just two blocks from Daffin Park and offers a lot of fund raising events. Just recently they supported Run Ranger Run, where runners signed up to start running at the store and went as far as the could to log a cumulative 565 miles in 28 days to raise money to help wounded veterans transition back into daily life. They also collect donations of used shoes and recycle or redistribute them to those who can’t afford new shoes or any shoes at all.
The Rape Crisis Center also offers free counselling and classes on self defense and awareness and is always in search of volunteers. To become a sexual assault advocate/crisis intervention volunteer at the Rape Crisis Center please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 912-233-3000 or firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.! Volunteers support victims of sexual assault through the 24 hour crisis line and hospital response. They are looking for mature, empathetic, non-judgmental and dedicated individuals to… make a difference in the community.All applicants must be at least 21 years old and submit to a criminal background check.