March 16, 2010
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
The West Coast Conference donated over 10,000 pairs of shoes to Soles4Souls through the WCC Zappos.com Shoe Drive, including nearly 3,500 pairs from LMU alone. The shoes will go to those affected by the earthquake in Haiti and others in need worldwide.
"I would like to congratulate all of our eight WCC member institutions, their student-athletes, coaches, administrators and fans for their extraordinary dedication to this important community service initiative," said WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich. "To more than double our shoe donation total from last year, and far exceed our goal for this year, is truly outstanding."
The WCC Zappos.com Shoe Drive was a community service initiative generated by the WCC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which invited all eight WCC campuses to collect shoes throughout the regular basketball season. In the conference's first try at the shoe drive last year, over 5,000 pairs were collected. This year, the SAAC challenged one another to reach a conference goal of 6,000.
As part of the conference-wide effort, the WCC pledged to award the school with the most shoes donated with an on-campus party and recognition at the WCC Basketball Championships in Las Vegas. For the second year in a row, Loyola Marymount led the way with an overwhelming 3,463 shoes.
"Our collection is a tribute to the entire campus coming together for a worthy cause. Once word got out to the various departments and offices on campus, it was amazing to see such an outpouring of support," said Matt Casana, LMU Director of Student-Athlete Academic Services. "People would contact me weekly to make sure we picked up shoes from their area and to find out what our collection total was. Our student-athletes went into the local community and collected from neighbors who surround the campus. They also handed out flyers at men's and women's basketball games, donated shoes themselves, and produced a video to promote this event."
All 10,000 shoes will be sent from all eight campuses to the Soles4Souls distribution center in Las Vegas. From there, all appropriate pairs will be sent to Haiti, while the others will be sent various places around the world.
In addition to the shoe drive, the WCC and Zappos.com, title sponsor of the 2010 WCC Basketball Championships, will be holding its Kidz Day event on Monday morning before the Women's Basketball Championship where approximately 600 kids from the Greater Las Vegas After-School All-Stars program will be receiving a new pair of shoes, donated by Zappos.com, among other gifts provided by the WCC, before attending the Championship game.
To watch Loyola Marymount's promotional video for the WCC Zappos.com Shoe Drive, click here.