Cleats for Kids DonationThrough a partnership with Oklahoma Cleats for Kids, the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority provided an opportunity for local and visiting athletes to donate athletic shoes.

According to Rick Flutka, sports development manager for the South Shore CVA, approximately 145 pairs of cleats, athletic and bowling shoes were collected.

"We felt this program was a great opportunity to provide visiting and local athletes a chance to give to those less fortunate. Oklahoma Cleats for Kids provides thousands of kids with the necessary shoes and equipment to participate in sports," said Flutka.

Shoes were collected during the National Softball Association Girls Fast Pitch "B" World Series, a week-long tournament in which games were played throughout the South Shore, and Olympia Lanes of Hammond donated the bowling shoes. Drop-off bins were also set up at the Indiana Welcome Center.

"The South Shore hosts many youth and amateur sporting events throughout the year. By providing local and visiting athletes the option to donate, we hope that many youth are inspired to participate in sports," stated Speros A. Batistatos, president and CEO of the South Shore CVA.

The next athletic shoe collection is scheduled for mid-October. Additionally, the Northwest Crossroads Conference, Duneland Athletic Conference and the Greater South Shore Conference schools have been invited to participate in collections following the end of the fall, winter and spring athletic seasons.

For more information or to learn how to participate in a collection, contact Rick Flutka at 219-989-7770.

Photo Cutline:
Cleats for Kids Donation: South Shore CVA's Speros A. Batistatos, president and CEO, and Rick Flutka, sports development manager, are surrounded by the 145 pairs of athletic shoes that were donated to Oklahoma Cleats for Kids.