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Fundraiser wants old shoes

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Concert Saturday raises money, awareness for organization for clean water

WaterStep concert

When:April 26, 1 to 8 p.m.

Where:Collins High School, 801 Discovery Boulevard

Admission:A pair of used shoes

More Info:Contact Beth Jones, 647-1160, ext. 1282

For the second year in a row, honor students at Collins High School are holding a fundraiser concert to raise awareness for an international organization dedicated to bringing clean drinking water to third world countries.

National Honor Society students will be collecting used shoes at the WaterStep concert, Saturday in the courtyard in front of the school, 801 Discovery Blvd., as a way to raise money for WaterStep, an organization that focuses on providing clean drinking water and has a presence in 30 countries. WaterStep sells donated shoes to an exporter and uses the money to bring clean water to those in need of it; shoes that cannot be sold and re-worn are recycled.

The event will take place from 1 to 8 p.m., and Beth Jones, library media specialist at Collins, said that six bands would play throughout the afternoon from 1 to 6 p.m.

“Weathering permitting, we are going to do it in our outdoor courtyard in front of the school,” she said. “If we have rain, we will move it inside to the performing arts center.”

Jones said that WaterStep teaches innovative techniques in water purification in needed areas to accomplish its goal.

“Their purpose is that they have developed some technology that allows people to purify water quickly, and they deploy these devices all over the world to places that have problems getting clean water,” she said.

WaterStep takes steps to see this vision become reality by providing training and technology to better equip people to provide sustainable solutions to the water problem. From disaster relief to water treatment and health and hygiene training, the organization takes practical steps toward solutions that impact lives and provides clean water for more people.

“One of the ways that they make money is asking people to donate old shoes, and then they sell those shoes to a recycler and any profits they make from that go to support what they do, so what we’ll be doing the afternoon of the concert is we’ll be collecting old shoes. That’s kind of the price of admission, that’s how we’re billing it, just bring an old pair of shoes to donate,” she said.

Collins senior Delaney Boone came up with the idea for the concert fundraiser last year when she was a junior, Jones said.

“It’s her brainchild; she spearheaded it,” Jones said.

Boone said she learned about the organization through a YMCA program she was involved with that spotlighted nonprofit entities. Participation in Y-CORPS, a program for teens who want to get involved in their communities, required organizing an event that would benefit a charitable organization, and Boone said she was very interested in WaterStep and their mission of promoting clean drinking water.

“I also love music, and so I thought, why not hold a concert. We can do it right in front of the school,” she said.

Boone said she was thrilled with the shoe drive held at the school before last year’s event.

“The principal let us hold a shoe drive for two days before the concert, and there were shoes lined up everywhere – it was awesome!” she said, adding that even more were collected on the day of the concert.

This year, the event has an even wider range of bands, including Lewis Mathis, Jake Tinney, Jake Tolozzko, Powell, Sons of Circus and One Left Chambered.

There will also be concessions on sale and proceeds from those will go to benefit WaterStep, as well.

Jones said she hopes to see the event continue to grow this year.

For more information about the event, contact Jones at 647-1160, ext. 1282.