The School Newspaper of Rouse High School

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Laces for Leander

Rachel Schneidereit, Co-Editor n Chief

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After collecting 36 pairs of shoes, $500 in donations and winning an additional 150 pairs of shoes with a scavenger hunt, Rouse took first place at the Fourth Annual Laces for Leander, Battle of The Mascots Competition against all other Leander schools.  The contest was held at the end of July, to collect donations of athletic shoes for students in the community who are in need.

“Hearing that LISD children were starting school without new shoes hit close to heart,” Coach Corey Elrod said. “This was our first year to participate in the event, so we didn’t know what to expect.”  

Cedar Park Nissan donated several trucks to use for the fundraiser. The goal was for each LISD high school to “stuff” their truck with as many shoes as possible, donated by their own community.

​“Leander ISD is not only known for being a strong academic and athletic school district, but it’s also known for it’s amazing students and community who want to give back and do more for others,” Executive Director of Hill Country Community Ministries Tiesa Hollaway said. “What’s a better way to kick off the school year? It was great to have all of the students participating, coming together as a whole and battling it out to stuff their trucks.”  

The original donation goal for the contest was 750 pairs of shoes, but this was surpassed with an overall donation of 865 pairs and nearly $10,000 in monetary donations. Cheerleaders, Royals, football players and other student groups represented Rouse at the contest.

“It was a great event because we all came together to help other students in the area,” junior Kaitlyn Tatum said. “The Royal’s goal, as well as my own, for the year is to be more involved in the community, and this was a great opportunity to start achieving that goal.”

Providing athletic shoes for students gave community members a way to make sure all students are ready for the school year. Any student who qualifies for the district’s free or reduced lunch program is eligible to receive a pair, ensuring all Leander ISD children can meet their P.E. requirements or have new kicks for school, in general.

“What we have quickly realized is that there are students in our all of our schools who are failing P.E. or who cannot participate in sports because they do not have proper athletic shoes,” Hollaway said. “I think it’s important for students to help those in need by uplifting them, encouraging them and cheering them on.”

While this year’s contest brought more than 800 pairs of shoes, the need in Leander ISD is for over 3,500 students. Companies such as Cool Atmosphere Heating and Air, who made a $500 donation during the event, helped Rouse earn their first win of the year, while making sure students were ready for school.

“The mission of donating tennis shoes to kids was a very important one for students and businesses,” senior football player Zach Pelt said.  “Every kid deserves the opportunity to run around and play without their family’s economic situation playing a role.”

In 2013, the first year the Laces for Leander fundraiser was put on, 260 shoes were distributed in two hours. The number continues to grow every year as more members of the community become involved in helping the cause.

“​We had a lot of young men and women who gave up their Saturday morning, to show school spirit and embrace all the challenges,” Coach Elrod said. “It was amazing to watch. We live in an amazing community, and when the bell to give rings, our students always answer.”

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Laces for Leander