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'It helps out a lot of people.' Kiwanis club gives children shoes at Boys & Girls Club

Sam Ribakoff
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — A volunteer dressed as Belle from the Disney movie "Beauty and the Beast" talked with another volunteer dressed as the Dr. Seuss character the Grinch while approximately a hundred local elementary, middle and high school students lined up to receive new, free shoes during the Farmington Rio del Sol Kiwanis club’s Shoes for Kids event on Oct. 24 at the Boys & Girls Club of Farmington.

By the end of the giveaway the volunteers has passed out a lot of shoes, and about 60 more kids who weren't registered yet signed up to get shoes at a future event.

Along with a handful of non-costumed volunteers from the Kiwanis club, the Four Corners Ichigo cosplay group helped entertain and put shoes on kids while dressed up as assorted Disney princesses, while Tony DiGiacomo dressed up as the Dr. Seuss character, the Grinch.

“The kids love it, it makes them smile,” said Four Corners Ichigo member April Loughridge, who was dressed as Belle from the Disney movie "Beauty and the Beast." She said she normally dresses as Wonder Woman for events like these.

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This is the third year the local Kiwanis club has done a shoe drive for local children in need.

The club has done other shoe giveaways at other locations around San Juan County during the month of October, including the Hilltop Boys & Girls Club location in Farmington, the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomfield, McCormick Elementary School, Bluffview Elementary School and Apache Elementary School.

A volunteer ties a new shoe for a kid, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, during the Farmington Rio del Sol Kiwanis Shoes for Kids event at the Boys & Girls Club of Farmington.

The Kiwanis club estimates they’ve given away about 375 pairs of shoes to local kids this year alone.

A kid receives new, free shoes, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, during the Farmington Rio del Sol Kiwanis Shoes for Kids event at the Boys & Girls Club of Farmington.

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Nikki Taylor, the director of development for the Boys & Girls Club of Farmington and Bloomfield said that students who didn’t receive any shoes because their parents hadn’t signed the necessary paperwork, or they weren’t members of the Boys and Girls Club, still have a chance to sign up and receive a pair of free shoes. Taylor estimates that around 60 kids had signed up to receive shoes after the event.

A volunteer from the Four Corners Ichigo cosplay group fits a kid for a new, free shoe, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, at the Farmington Rio del Sol Kiwanis Shoes for Kids event at the Boys & Girls Club of Farmington.

On Nov. 16, the Kiwanis club will host a winter coats and jacket giveaway at Farmington Fire Station #6 located at 3100 W. Main Street.

For more information. Farmington Rio del Sol Kiwanis club can be reached via their website at www.riodelsolkiwanis.com, or by calling 505-860-5165.

Sam Ribakoff is a visual journalist for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-333-5283 or via email at sribakoff@daily-times.com.