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Back-to-school made easier

Thu., Sept. 4, 2008

Our Place distributes new shoes, backpacks to needy

Felicia Curry, a sixth-grader at Holmes Elementary School in the West Central Neighborhood, showed up at a pizza party last week with her mother, dressed in a pair of new silver and pink athletic shoes that she got just in time for school.

The shoes were a gift from the Jamie and Karen Moyer Foundation, which donated $5,000 to the Our Place Community Ministries charity on the North Side to help get kids outfitted for the reopening of classes this month.

Moyer is well-known as a former pitcher for the Seattle Mariners baseball team.

“They really appreciate those who are less fortunate,” Felicia said as she waited in line for her pizza.

A pair of pizza outlets – Five Mile Pizza and Pizza Rita – donated pies for the event, and the charity obtained additional donations to put on the party last Wednesday at their newly remodeled quarters at 1506 W. College Ave.

In addition to pizza, the children were also handed backpacks and school supplies on their way out the door. All of the shoes were purchased through Payless ShoeSource.

Jenifer Priest, development director of Our Place, said nearly 150 people were expected to attend the party.

She asked the children and their parents if the organization could take their pictures with the new shoes and send them to the Moyer Foundation, which might use some of the photos in its promotional material.

Felicia’s mother, Edith Curry, said the help was especially needed because she is employed in the retail industry and not getting enough work hours. As a result, she recently called various agencies seeking help and the people at Our Place invited her to take part in the shoe program.

Shayla Delay, 7, arrived at the party wearing a pair of Hannah Montana athletic shoes. “I love ’em,” she said.

Her mother, Gina Delay, said she received vouchers to buy shoes for her two boys as well. “We couldn’t wait for today,” she said.

Reach staff writer Mike Prager at 459-5454 or by e-mail at

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