Walk With Us president Carol Shirley, second left, with ASB Aquatic and Fitness Centre staff from left, Pierre Holland, Crystal Gaiger, Lisa Stove, Bev Goodall and Vaughan Hope in the centre’s gym last Tuesday. Photo: Simon Bloomberg.

Aquatic Centre walking with shoe trust

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The ASB Aquatic and Fitness Centre has given a Nelson charity, that helps to provide school and sporting shoes for children in need, a  big boost for its annual fundraising auction.

Walk with Us was formed last year to provide free school and sport footwear and socks for children aged five to 13. The charity raised almost $15,000 at its first fundraising auction held last year allowing it to donate around 200 pairs of shoes.

And  thanks to the ASB Aquatic and Fitness Centre, the list of items for this year’s auction is shaping up to be just as good after centre manager Vaughan Hope last week gifted a year’s membership to fitness centre and pool, valued at $1037.

“It’s a wonderful prize and we really appreciate their support,” Walk With Us president Carol Shirley says. “They donated the same prize last year and it sold for more than its value, so I’m sure it will be a popular item again this year.”

Although the charity is only just over a year old, Carol says it is already gaining a lot of support from the business community. It is also being well received by schools and sporting clubs which benefit from the charity’s donations.

“It started with eight businesswomen around Nelson who wanted to help the community. One of the women had been a school teacher and she said she’d seen quite a few children who needed new shoes.

“We approached the schools and got good feedback, and it grew from there. We’ve donated about 200 pairs of shoes so far and it’s growing all the time – we are expecting to grow and grow.”

The charity is also supported by Stirling Sports and Number One Shoes, which have agreement with Walk with Us so that children can redeem vouchers at their stores in Richmond and Nelson.

Carol says they “already have some really good prizes” for this year’s auction that will be held at the Waimea Old Boys clubrooms on October 28, starting at 6.30pm. Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased at Haven Realty at 8 McGlashen Ave in Richmond or by calling or texting Jill Taylor 021 02798424, Carol Shirley 027 6672837 or Anne Marie Teece 027 5448255

Anyone who would like to donate an item for the auction can contact Jill, Carol or Anne Marie.