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'Walk with Pride': Corpus Christi realtors team up to provide free, new shoes for Coastal Bend-area children

It's a proud tradition of the Corpus Christi Association of REALTORS, going near 40 years strong!

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — For many, back-to-school shopping may be a given, but for some that's not the reality, and in this time where inflation is hitting the wallets of Americans hard, that may be even more difficult. 

Among some of the pricier items when it comes to back-to-school shopping are new shoes. For 39 years, the Corpus Christi Association of REALTORS has aimed to alleviate that cost for Coastal Bend-area families through their annual Walk with Pride event.

The event raises funds to help gift new pairs of shoes to thousands of children. It began with Val Valentine who began the program nearly 40 years ago. According to the association, the number of children served by the foundation has increased dramatically.

"He [Valentine] wanted those children to walk to school on the first day with a sense of pride, so it's really near and dear to our hearts that we have this fashion show because we donate all the proceeds and everything we make through the foundation," said Cristina Salinas-Grandy, Director of Events and Professional Development with the CCAR. 

The shoes purchased through the foundation go to children and families in need, as all the children who participate in this program are qualified through Nueces & Jim Wells County Social Services.

"It's really touching to me because I come from an education background, so when I see what it means when you give a child a new pair of shoes that needs it, so I think it's really special that we get the opportunity to help in that way in the community," said Salinas-Grandy. 

The runway fashion show portion of the event was put on by Julian Gold and the shoes are provided by Shoe Carnival.

Salinas-Grandy says they were able to raise over $10,000 from Wednesday's event, but there is still the opportunity to donate for those who were unable to attend. To donate to Walk with Pride, click here. 

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