Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the 2nd annual AGORA Sneakerball hosted by Kicks 4 the City at Venue One. AGORA served as a black tie-event to celebrate and fundraise to support the organization's initiative of providing shoes for homeless communities in selected cities in the U.S. and worldwide. Since 2012, K4tC have collected and donated 50,000 shoes to the less fortunate with 500 volunteers and ambassadors in 9 cities. The goal last night was to raise $30,000.
Here's the recap of the night along with a short interview I did with the founder of K4tC, Justin Johnson.
The event consisted with a VIP Reception to honor supporters, volunteers, and national ambassadors for their commitment to the program throughout the year, followed by host LaRoyce Hawkins of the show Chicago P.D. welcoming guests, speeches from Jennifer Fabbrini of Students in Temporary Living Situations and Justin Johnson, raffles, cocktails sponsored by Jack Daniels, live art and music. Overall, the event was full of celebrities, athletes, philanthropists, influencers and move makers.
My favorite part of the event besides the dress code of black-tie with sneakers?
The House Rules:
1. Create Vibes
2. Invite Conversation
3. Listen More
4. Respect Opinions
5. Remain Open
6. Make Introductions
7. Capture Moments
8. Make Impressions
9. Dance Freely
10. No Judgement
Interview with Justin Johnson
What is Kicks 4 the City and your initiative?
We provide shoes for the people in need, whether it's the homeless population or under privilaged youth.
When was K4tC established and how much have you raised since?
50,000 pairs of shoes and $40-50k, a lot of what we do are shoes, so we don't really pass out dollars, its more of donating the shoes to the right cause and it's helpful when you get the partners who can donate the shoes and time.
What was your inspiration for it?
It was really a relationship I built with a homeless man I met when I was 25, we had a lot of similarities, he was a year younger than I was, and I at that time I noticed his toes were coming through his shoes, and being a light, lil sneaker head and I had a lot of friends with shoes in their closets that they weren't using because of style, scuffs, size, so we just kinda rounded up and used our influence to collect any lightly used shoes we had over a few weeks.
What are you wearing tonight?
Nike Air Max Atmos
What's your top 3 favorite sneakers?
The He Got Game Jordan 13s are very important to me, that was my first adult size Jordans I got in 5th grade. As far as other shoes I really like, I always like the original OG Air Max, and I can go pretty casual as well and I can be a Chuck Taylor type of guy.
You can find out more information or donate to Kicks 4 the City at Kicks4thecity.org