On Thursday, March 21, 2018, the 11th annual Happy Feet project was held for 60 Latta School District students in greatest need. These students went on a shopping spree at Goody’s in Dillon to purchase $15,000 worth of much needed shoes, socks, pants, undergarments and clothing accessories. The Happy Feet project is held each spring to help these students replace shoes and clothing they have grown out of from the beginning of the school year in hopes that this new clothing will carry them through Spring and Summer until they can purchase new clothing for the new school year.
The project is funded through the combined efforts of the Latta Rotary Club with a Rotary International Matching grant of $5,200, savings and discounts from Goody’s in Dillon of 20%, the Latta Schools Educational Foundation and the Latta School District donating $5,600, and the Latta High School Interact Club and all Latta Schools students and faculty raising $4,200.
Each of the 60 students purchased approximately $250, in retail clothing with a net total cost after Goody’s discount savings of $19,700. Approximately 11 Latta Rotary Club members volunteered along with 20 Latta School District Staff members to help the students shop for their clothing.
The original Happy Feet program began with the Mt. Pleasant Rotary club purchasing shoes for needy students. The Latta Project differs somewhat in that it includes other clothing items that these students also desperately need. Each student purchased at least one pair of shoes and additional clothing attire.
This Latta Project partners exclusively with Goody’s on this even because of the dedicated staff giving their time for the event and the great generosity of Goody’s in the additional financial support of the cost. Special thanks are extended to Goody’s manager David Brown and his staff.
Latta Rotarians Corky Lane, Patty Griffey and Rob Lesser worked tirelessly bagging clothes and helping students to maximize their purchases. Rotarians Robert McIntire, Amanda Morrell, John Kirby, George Liebenrood, DeWitt Coleman, Abbott Shelley, Suzanne Pelt, Sarah Mathis and Paul Gasque helped guide students with shopping choices and sizes. These Latta Rotarians exemplified the “Service Above Self” Rotary Motto for the Latta High School Interact Club that they sponsor to help these students strive to become future Rotarians and leaders in our communities and the world.
Many thanks and hugs were given to all involved for their generous efforts in planning and managing the successful event. In 11 years, over 1,000 students have been impacted in the Latta Community, with $163,000 spent.