By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The 4th annual Cleats for Kids’ (C4K) Summer Kickoff (SKO17) will take place on Saturday, June 3 at a new Oklahoma City location, the recently developed Wheeler District Ferris Wheel at 1701 S. Western Avenue. SKO17 will be held from 12 – 3 p.m. with activities for all ages. The event is free and open to the public.
Participants are asked to bring a piece of sports equipment to donate in exchange for a free raffle entry.
Oklahoma Cleats for Kids is an Oklahoma City based non-profit that collects and distributes sports shoes, clothes and equipment to kids in need.
“We are especially excited about the location of this event,” said Stacy McDaniel, C4K Executive Director. “The Ferris Wheel is not only a beautiful new attraction near downtown OKC, it also embodies the fun-loving spirit of this event and the exciting growth our organization has gone through.”
SKO17 is created and executed by C4K’s Varsity Board which is comprised of a group of over a hundred students from 13 high schools in the Oklahoma City metro area.
“Sports have always been a driving force behind our motivation to succeed, do well, and have fun,” Sophie Trachtenberg, co-president of the Varsity Board and senior at Classen SAS, said. “We believe every kid has the right to this experience and all the great things that come with it.”
Return visitors to the Summer Kickoff event will notice old favorites such as Big Truck Tacos, inflatables from the Energy, carnival games and face painting. A raffle table will feature over $1000 in prizes, including sports memorabilia and gift cards from local metro merchants who come together to organize collection drives, plan programming, and execute the annual Summer Kickoff.
This year will also feature the first Official C4K Youth Cornhole Tournament where teens can face off in support of C4K’s mission. Cornhole is a lawn game where players take turns throwing bags of corn (or bean bags) at a raised platform with a hole in the far end.
Proceeds collected through SKO17 will go to support C4K’s existing programming and the new Hoop It Up basketball equipment program as voted on by the Varsity Board.
“Having played basketball all four years of high school I know how much of an impact the sport can have on personal development and friendships,” Winston Nelson, the board’s other co-president and senior at Norman North High School, said. “I also know how expensive gear for this sport is, which is why I think it’s great that we’re able to make it more accessible for other kids!”
In Oklahoma, one out of every four families lives in poverty. Cleats for Kids works to give those kids an opportunity to learn important life lessons and live healthier lifestyles through sports by providing the equipment required to play safely and successfully.
The organization functions primarily through the work of volunteers to gather new or gently used sports equipment through drives and drop-off donation centers.
Since 2011, C4K has provided over 45,000 pieces of equipment to Oklahoma athletes in need.
“Bring your family and support this awesome organization that helps kids around the state play sports and stay in school,” Oklahoma City community leader Lance McDaniel posted on Facebook. “If you cannot go, your money is still super helpful.”
For more information about the work C4K does visit okc4k.org.