Free Shoes Let Kids Pick Up the Pace

Cowtown Kids 5K triples number of donations


There are boogie shoes, blue suede shoes and Sunday shoes, but there's nothing like a new pair of running shoes.

"They're comfortable," said Ricardo Villa, 12, a fifth grader at Diamond Hill Elementary School in Fort Worth.

Villa and almost two dozen other members of the Diamond Hill Running Club got free running shoes from the Cowtown Children's Activities for Life and Fitness (C.A.L.F.) Council.

"Last year, we gave away 550. This year, we'll  give away 1,500 pairs of shoes," said Ralph Mendoza, board member for The Cowtown 2012. "If they apply to run and they need money to buy new shoes, we'll provide new shoes for them."

The kids from Diamond Hill Elementary will be among more than 4,500 plus who take part in the Cook Children's 5K on Saturday.  

The race that had just 152 kids in 1984 has grown into one of the nation's largest youth running events.  Last month, it was named Youth Event of the Year at the running industry's national convention in Houston.

"We were so shocked," said Heidi Swartz The Cowtown's executive director in a news release. "It's an awesome honor."

That national recognition validates the year-round focus of The Cowtown C.A.L.F which is to get kids in better shape, keep their weight down and help them stay healthy.


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