Menlo Masters compete in the water – and to collect the most new shoes for kids

by Timi Most on March 28, 2011

Menlo Masters 7:00 am workout squad with Tim Sheeper at Burgess Pool

There’s a new twist to the annual Menlo Masters Blue, Gold & Red Intrasquad meet scheduled for Saturday, April 2 from 6:00 to 9:00 am. Not only will there be competition in the pool but participating teams will compete to collect the most new shoes to donate to the homeless children served by My New Red Shoes. Donation barrels are set up in the lobby of the Burgess Park pool facility for Masters swimmers, Burgess swimmers, and the community to participate in the shoe drive.

Menlo Masters has a long history of healthy competition and support for community needs. Head coach Tim Sheeper (pictured poolside with the 7:00 am squad before a recent – rainy – workout) not only inspires the 400 swimmers in Menlo Masters but also provides opportunities for the team to support those in need in the community.  In December, the team fulfilled the wishes of many needy children with gifts through the Family Giving Tree.

The Can-Do campaign in February provided a commitment to service and fitness.  During this effort, the team collected an entire busload of canned food for the Menlo Park Senior Center Brown Bag Program and each participant swam 50,000 to100,000 yards. Menlo Masters also founded Building Futures Now, a non-profit organization that provides tutoring, mentoring and enrichment for under-served children of color from nearby communities.

The upcoming shoe drive in support of My New Red Shoes, a program that partners with shelters in San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda and San Francisco counties to identify homeless children in need of new shoes and clothing for school, is a natural fit for community-focused Menlo Masters. Over the last five years, My New Red Shoes has provided brand new shoes and clothing for more than 7,000 school-aged homeless children in the Bay Area, and this drive will help us reach the 3,000 kids we’re trying to serve this year.

Photo by Scott R. Kline

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