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Shoes for Kids: Tying up loose ends

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Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Fargo Marathon organizers are stepping in to make sure local kids in need have some new kicks to kick off the school year.

1,000 students in our community won't have to worry about buying sneakers this year, thanks to the Shoes for Kids program already hitting our elementary schools.

The race is on for the new school year.

Manix Zepeda/L. E. Berger Principal: "Kids are happy, kids are excited, they're ready for school."

And Fargo marathon organizers are racing to make sure students look and feel great.

Mark Knutson/Fargo Marathon Ex. Dir.: "For us it's such an appropriate and tangible way to give back."

They've boxed up one thousand pair of shoes...

After collecting donations, purchasing sneakers- and loading them up for kids in need.

Knutons: "We love to see those kids, we love to see them someday being future marathon runners and we'll start them out in first or second grade, get them in the right shoes."

Many kids in our districts don't have proper footwear, but Mark and the marathon are hitting every single elementary school in the metro…

Knutson: "We've started making a few deliveries today and they're like oh yeah the shoes are here."

…to tie up loose ends.

Zepeda: "Backed up the trailer and all these shoes were coming in for boys and girls made by Nike."

Here at L E Berger in West Fargo, more than half of students can't afford lunch each day; let alone a new pair of Nike sneakers.

Zepeda: "We are a school that has lots of needs for our students so we were able to meet some of those needs for our kids through this donation."

Knutson: "We live in a pretty fortunate community but it's amazing how many kids are in need so hopefully this helps a little bit.

All so high-need students can fit in with their friends...

Zepeda: "For me it's a wonderful feeling. I get to be Santa Claus."

And walk the hallways wearing some pretty cool kicks.

Knutson: "Maybe next year it will be 2,000 pairs of shoes."

The Shoes for Kids program is made possible through online donations, Fargo's 5-K and funds matched by Blue Cross Blue Shield, Dakota Medical Foundation and Discovery Benefits.

Knutson says they hope to hand out more shoes this winter. 

Kay Cooley
Kay Cooley came to WDAY 6 News in September of 2012. She was born in a suburb of Chicago then made her home in Hershey, PA. Kay graduated from Northwestern University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. At Northwestern, Kay was a member of the Division I Women’s Swim Team and a reporter for the Northwestern News Network on campus. Before coming to WDAY, Kay was working for KVRR in Fargo and interned at ABC27 in Harrisburg, PA. When she’s not out in the field reporting, Kay enjoys being active and spending time with friends and family. If you have story ideas, questions or just want to say hello, feel free to email Kay at
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