Fleet Feet Donates Sneakers

Treads vs. Trainers fitness challenge funds shoes, bikes for children

Local businessmen Nick Stump, left, and Rick Slifkin pose with a sampling of shoes and a bike that were among the donations presented to needy children through the Treads vs. Trainers charity fundraiser in Delray Beach.

Gary CurreriSpecial correspondent

When it comes to children and causes involving them, area businesses can always be counted on to step to the forefront.

That was once again the case as Fleet Feet Sports Delray Beach and the DogHouse MultiSport Training Center joined forces to purchase new shoes and bikes for 24 Delray Beach youth by raising money through an unusual fitness challenge.

The Treads vs. Trainers charity event at Fleet Feet Sports Delray Beach invited local runners and cyclists to reserve hour-long time slots on either a treadmill or CompuTrainer.

Each of the 18 participants was responsible for raising funds. In the end, more than $2,400 was raised — all of which went toward buying the shoes and bikes for those needy youth in grades 3-5.

The fundraiser was in partnership with the Delray Beach Youth Tennis Foundation and Village Academy, and the presentation of the gifts was made at the Delray Beach Achievement Center, where the after-school program is held.

“As running and cycling advocates, we want to ensure that access to our sports is far-reaching to all ages and levels,” said Nick Stump, owner of Fleet Feet Sports Delray Beach. “To bring this experience…to everyone and change someone’s day, week, year or life is truly amazing. It’s great to watch these kids’ faces light up.”

Rick Slifkin, owner of DogHouse MultiSport Training Center, said his facility hosted rides resulting in the purchase of the bikes.

“My business partner Scott D’angelo and I decided six years ago to do something to give back to the community,” Slifkin said. “I am so happy. It was awesome to see the look on the kids’ faces. … It’s truly priceless.”

Local runners enjoyed their time raising money. Four in particular covered more than eight miles in their hour-long time slot.

“It was so much fun being part of the Treads vs. Trainers charity fundraiser,” said Mark Burns of Delray Beach, who shared his time on the treadmill with Melissa Perlman (Delray Beach) and Spanish River High School student-athletes Alex Kline and Justin Haber (both of Boca Raton). “Anytime you can merge a fun, fitness activity with an opportunity to give back is a win-win.”

“We are very thankful (for the gifts) for our children,” said Peg Perez, president of the Delray Beach Youth Tennis Foundation. “Our program consists of two hours of tennis instruction and two hours of academic curriculum each week. Our children are thrilled.

“This means so much to the kids in our program,” she continued. “These children are from low-income families. It means a lot. The kids see how much people care about them and how they can depend on others in their life, and that’s important.”

All set for another day of tennis

SportsCom5@aol.com, @SoFlaCurreri

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