(DCC Athletics release)
GLENDIVE – Lady Bucs Coach Romeo Lagmay and Buccaneers Coach Joe Peterson will be coaching their game against Williston State College on Thursday night in their bare feet! It’s not because they have worn out all their shoes by stomping on the sidelines, but to help raise awareness of the millions of people throughout the world who don’t have proper footwear. They did it for the first time last year and it was a success in multiple ways. The Lady Bucs won 79-57 and the Bucs won 68-57. Even more importantly, they collected over 75 pairs of shoes and raised over $500. The coaches for Williston State College, Rylee Hernandez and Kia Herbel, will also be participating; as well as the assistant coaches from both schools.
“Barefoot Coaching” is a movement that was started by Samaritan’s Feet in 2003. Founders Manny and Tracie Ohonme (Oh-ho-may) created it with the goal of distributing 10 million pairs of shoes in 10 years. Since that time, almost 7 million pairs of shoes have been distributed in over 75 countries and in over 325 US cities. The organization is based in Charlotte, NC. There are also offices in Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, Hong Kong and the Philippines.
Samaritan’s Feet Founder Manny Ohonme came to the US to play basketball in the late 1980’s at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, ND (known at the time as UND – Lake Region), so the Mon-Dak Conference has a special place in the heart of the organization. For the past 3 seasons, both the Men’s and Women’s coaches at Lake Region have been “Barefoot Coaches” and will do so again in February.
One of the many ways that Samaritan’s Feet draws awareness to the need for proper footwear is through the efforts of coaches coaching a game in their bare feet.
Over 1.5 billion people are infected with soil-transmitted diseases that could be prevented by wearing proper footwear. Over 300 million children in Africa alone do not own a pair of shoes. Coach Peterson spent many years serving in Africa and has seen this firsthand.
According to the most recent “Champions for Kids” report, shoes and socks are in the “Top 10 Items Schools Need You to Donate” here in America.
Any fans who bring a new pair of shoes or donate money on Monday night will receive a free ticket to a future game and a bag of popcorn.
The new shoe donations that are received at Thursday’s games will be used by Samaritan’s Feet to serve children and adults within the Mon-Dak region in 2018 as part of our “Shoes of Hope” shoe distributions.
Samaritan’s Feet share’s a message of love and hope by washing the feet of those who receive shoes, helping them believe that their dreams can come true, just like they did for a young man from Nigeria.
Any money donated on Thursday will go towards a girls soccer club in rural Kenya called the Suba Lakers Football Club. The club was founded in 2009 by Coach Peterson and Kenyan National Paul Onundo to help young girls in Mbita, Kenya develop their God-given talents and potential in soccer, school and society. With the 2nd highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in Africa, the number of orphans is overwhelming and Mbita is a difficult place for a young girl to grow up. Poverty, disease, and early marriages are some of the biggest challenges these girls face. Joining the soccer club is what keeps many of these girls away from these vices, keeps them in school and allows them to build a better future. All money raised will go to help provide cleats for girls or help pay for a girl’s high school education.
Gametimes are Thursday at 5:30 pm for the women and 7:30 pm for the men.
For much more information about Samaritan’s Feet, please go to www.samaritansfeet.org
For more information on Suba Lakers please go to www.subalakers.com