Kicks for Africa to hold sneaker swap for orphans
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 22:10
Kicks for Africa is holding a second Sneaker Swap event this Sunday from 12-6 p.m. for its Gulu 17 campaign. On Oct. 28, people will be able to buy, sell, trade and donate sneakers at the Student Union Ballroom (SU 330), with all the profits going to orphans in Africa. A panel of sneaker experts discussing the history and current state of the sneaker industry will also be there to help the charitable cause along and make it an afternoon to remember.
Students will be encouraged to donate at the entrance, and contributors will be given a raffle ticket for a chance to win the door prize. Junior economics major and Kicks for Africa founder Chibuikem Nwanonyiri said the first event was a smaller scale event, and has high hopes for this Sunday.
“This is the first event to raise funds for our cause. As the last event was outdoors, we did not ask for donations for tables or admission. Since April, we have raised 800 pairs of sneakers in a month and a half. Our goal is $6,500 for this campaign, and it will be $20,000 for a trip to Uganda to distribute the sneakers ourselves. We want to bring the community together to highlight a cause so that everyone is aware of it.” said Nwanonyiri.
The Sneaker Swap event was created after a partnership between Finish Line district manager Drew Kanevsky and Sneak Technique, a UConn fashion and retail group. Kanevsky was looking to hold an event on campus, but felt it was “empty” without a charity or cause.
“We’ve been working with UConn for two years, and what better way to create an event than to create a perfect mix with a student-run non-profit organization. On Sunday, if you have a lot of stuff, you can get a table and sell shoes all day – just make a small donation to Kicks For Africa and you’re set up. I’d say a donation of $20 is plenty. You can donate at the door if you only have 1-2 pairs to sell,” said Kanevsky.
Sneaker fanatics have much to look forward to in the sneaker symposium, with notable members of the sneaker community in attendance. ESPN RISE Lifestyle Editor Jay Corbin will be moderating the panel, discussing the current state of the sneaker game. Panel members include DJ Clark Kent, a Brooklyn music producer and a seasoned sneaker aficionado. Kent helped Jay-Z break into the hip hop industry, as well as producing songs for Notorious B.I.G. , 50 Cent and Mariah Carey. Premium Pete, a prominent sneaker blogger, will also be in the discussion.
There will also be a combination of live music and DJs at the event. DJ KG and DJ Meechie from Hartford hip hop station WZMX Hot 93.7 will be mixing, as well as local acts Fresh and Vonny performing live.
‘The local acts are an important part of the event. Unfortunately, it was out of place last time since it was outdoors on a Monday and not many people were there to see it. But this time, it will put a lot of energy and hype into the event,’ said Kanevsky.
The funds and sneakers raised will go to the Gulu 17 campaign, which was established in collaboration between Kicks for Africa and the Education for Peace and Prevention of Violence and HIV/AIDS (EPPOVHA) to bring shoes to orphans and formerly displaced persons in Gulu.
“Gulu is the 17th district in Uganda, and is a major district. Our secretary came up with the campaign name which was short, sharp and easy to remember. EPPOVHA and Kicks for Africa linked up in June, and next month we’ll send over the shoes and hopefully go over there too. We’re aiming to help 3,000 youths in Gulu and neighboring cities. The focus is now on raising money and sending the shoes over,” said Nwanonyiri.
To get involved or find out more, contact Drew Kanevsky (@TheDonDrew) on Twitter.