Hub City Sneaker Ball brings over 1,300 pairs of shoes to children in need

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) – A black-tie ball is becoming one of Hub City’s biggest charity events.

Daniel Cook launched the Hub City Sneaker Ball in 2021 to celebrate his 40th birthday, but it’s become a way to raise money and collect shoes for kids in need.

“I wanted to do something different where you have a black tie event and coordinate shoes with it, and the cause was just bigger than what I wanted to do for myself, celebrate myself but also find a way to give back to the community,” Cook said. “That’s how it started.

“Hub City Sneaker Ball was born out of my desire to celebrate myself and others and give back to the community and here we are.”

All guests who come bring a pair of shoes to give away, in addition to the flashy sneakers they show off on their own feet. All donated shoes go to the Hattiesburg Public School District.

In addition to shoes, each sneaker ball has a theme or cause that guests can donate money to. This year, HCSB guests raised over $2,000 for the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

“Last year with the COVID restrictions we were limited,” Cook said. “We had about 130 guests. This year we are looking at around 285 more. People donate shoes, and we fundraise for mental health and wellness, and we just bring people in for a good cause.

After a massive donation from Channel Control Merchants, the Sneaker Ball was able to collect over 1,300 pairs of shoes.

The Boujee Boss pop-up market inside the Turtle Creek Mall will host shoe donations all summer long.

Donations can be new or lightly used shoes, ranging in sizes for children from kindergarten through 12th grade.

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