March 3, 2011

WCC Collects Record-Breaking 11,740 Shoes for Soles4Souls

By Chelsea Flintoft '14

As the men's and women's basketball teams head to the Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships in Las Vegas, Nev., the Zappos.com Soles4Souls shoe drive has come to an end on the WCC campuses. This year Santa Clara University collected a total of 1,412 pairs of shoes, tripling the total collected last year.

On the Mission Campus, the Bronco Shoe Drive Committee consisted of cross-country runners Richard Zhu and Carey Parker, tennis player Kelly Lamble and baseball players Joe Supple and Jason Westerberg. They really stepped their game up this year taking the shoe drive outside of the athletic program and into the Residence Halls.

"We are proud of the efforts of our Student Athlete Advisory Committee members who lead the charge to collect shoes for the WCC Zappos.com Shoe Drive. Their collection efforts reached beyond the athletic community it extended across campus and within the surrounding community for the cause. A special thanks go out to the members of the SAAC Shoe Drive Committee," said SCU Associate Athletic Director Staci Gustafson.

The Broncos collected a total of 698 pairs of shoes. The winner of the Team Shoe Drive Competition went to the women's cross country team with an average of 9.5 pairs of shoes collected per student-athlete on the team. Volleyball came in second place an average of each player bring in 5.07 pairs of shoes. And to round out the top three, women's soccer collected an average of 4.67 pairs of shoes.

For three years now Zappos.com and Soles4Souls have come together to challenge each West Coast Conference campus to collect the most shoes from December to the end of the conference basketball season. This year's total from all eight campuses came in at 11,740 pairs of shoes, beating out last year's grand total of 10,000 by over 1,500 pairs. This charity drive is put on by the efforts of Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and marketing department on each campus.

The 11,740 gently used shoes collected throughout the WCC will be distributed through Soles4Souls to individuals in need worldwide. WCC SAAC representatives along with various members of the WCC and Zappos.com will volunteer in the culmination of the Zappos.com WCC Shoe Drive as 1,000 pairs of new shoes, donated by KangaROOS, will be distributed to 1,000 kids from the After-School All-Stars Las Vegas outside the Orleans Arena. The event will take place at 9:00 AM before the women's championship game.

FINAL SHOE DRIVE TOTALS (PAIRS):
1. Loyola Marymount – 2,260
2. Portland – 2,145
3. Gonzaga – 1,660
4. Santa Clara – 1,412
5. San Diego – 1,311
6. Pepperdine – 1,310
7. Saint Mary's – 908
8. San Francisco – 735

Congratulations to all of the WCC schools and a big thank you to all the Santa Clara students, faculty, student-athletes, and staff that donated shoes towards a great cause.

The men's basketball team will play the winner of LMU v. Portland game on Saturday March 5th at 6:00pm Pacific time. The women will play San Francisco on Friday March 4th at 12:00pm Pacific time.

GO BRONCOS!