Each holiday season, a few hundred students of the tens of thousands who are part of NYRR’s free Mighty Milers and Young Runners programs are treated to a new pair of sneakers. Generously provided by donors and ASICS, these sneakers make it possible for kids to participate in their school’s running programs. This year, more than 200 kids were invited to the seventh annual sneaker party where they had lunch, a full day of activities and games at St. Francis College, and were surprised to receive a gift of sneakers that fit each youngster perfectly. The party kicked off with an assortment of carnival games, including arcade basketball, bean bag “Skee-Ball,” and “knock down the cans,” as well as arts and crafts and a photo booth complete with fun costumes.
Dequan, a Mighty Miler from P.S. 15, was glued to the arts and crafts table. “My brother taught me how to make rubber-band bracelets last week,“ he said, “I’m making us matching bracelets.” The dance contest that followed was also a huge hit. Cheyenne, a P.S. 93 Young Runner, loved it—especially when her coach, Beverly, jumped in to teach everyone how to do the “Running Man.”
Staff and volunteers were just as excited. Dennis, a volunteer, had a blast. “This is a great change of pace from the weekly races,” he said. “The kids are great. Their faces lit up when they saw the sneakers!”
These smiling faces, deafening cheers, and reinvigorated spirits were all made possible through donations from the running community and ASICS.
Watch the video above for a big thank-you from our Mighty Milers and Young Runners!
With the generous support of donors and ASICS, we're excited to launch our virtual sneaker closet in 2014, supporting kids year-round in NYRR’s youth programs. If you'd like to contribute, please click here.