Back to School campaign, fundraiser to benefit kids

The Village Marketing Group and the Claremont nonprofit Shoes That Fit have partnered for their annual Back-To-School campaign.

Residents looking to make a difference in a kid’s life can check out a new backpack labeled with a child’s name, age and shoe size from a participating merchant. Participants then fill the backpack with a new pair of athletic shoes, socks and school supplies, returning it before July 26.

Shoes That Fit will distribute the bags—300 this time, up from 250 in 2014—to kids in the Claremont, Montclair, Upland, Ontario and Fontana school districts in time for the upcoming school year. The aim is to help economically disadvantaged students head for their classrooms “ready to learn in confidence, comfort and dignity in new shoes that fit.”

Mike Manning, owner of The Last Drop Café (119 Harvard Ave., Claremont) is coordinating the backpack distribution and collection. You can pick up a backpack at The Last Drop or from the following local businesses: Sonja Stump Photography, Tintura Salon, Glorious Treasures, Sunny Days, Vom Fass, Escape Salon, Jacqueline’s Home Decor, Amelie, Kut Haus Salon, Claremont Village Treasures, The Diamond Center, Lizzie’s Goldmine, The Little Dress Shop, A- Kline Chocolatier, Boon Companion, Hendricks Pharmacy, Rocky’s Cleaners, Robert Michael’s Salon, I Like Pie, Aromatique, Nectar, the Cheese Cave, Bert & Rocky’s Cream Co, Hands Down Too, Maple, Some Crust Bakery, The Bath Workshop and the Folk Music Center.

 “There’s so much need right here in our backyard,” Shoes that Fit Development Manager Barbara Frias said, urging those who can to chip in for the campaign.

Supporters of the nonprofit will be happy to hear that Shoes That Fit has recently expanded its capacity.

Thanks to a grant from the Ahmanson Foundation, the organization has redesigned its warehouse, adding new shelving units topped by a staircase-accessible mezzanine. The warehouse can now house well over 10,000 pairs of shoes. The next step in the project is the acquisition of a computer inventory system.

If you’re looking for one more way to help this worthy cause, look no further than Claremont Craft Ales, located at 1420 N. Claremont Blvd., Suite 204C in Claremont, right next to Shoes That Fit.

The brewery will host its third anniversary celebration on July 11 and donate a portion of proceeds to Shoes That Fit. There will be two sessions of the event, one from noon to 4 p.m. and another from 5 to 9 p.m.

Tickets are $30 and include 16 pours of beer, a souvenir glass, popcorn and live music. If you bring a new pair of socks, you get an extra pour. There will be 36 beers on tap, and the Grilled Cheese Truck, Pappas Artisanal, Rolling Sushi and I Like Pie will be onsite.

There will be kids carnival games and children get in free; the earlier session is recommended for families because it will be less crowded. Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets. Visit or call (909) 625-5350 for information.

—Sarah Torribio


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