Photo caption: To wrap up the 2020 Miles for Smiles project, members of the Rotary Club of Hyannis present a check to Katelynn's Closet founder Ann Bearse to purchase New Balance running shoes for children through Hanlon's Shoes. Pictured, left to right, are Dennis Miller, Kevin Petrovek, owner of Hanlon's Shoes, Bearse, Harold Robinson, Steve Heslinga, and Michael White.
The Rotary Club of Hyannis has donated 335 pairs of children’s shoes, thanks to funds raised through the 2020 Miles for Smiles race. The New Balance running shoes are distributed in the Barnstable community by Katelynn’s Closet, which serves children in need through requests from school nurses and social workers.
The 2020 event took place the weekend of May 15. Despite its being held virtually because of the pandemic, runner participation was 90 percent of the previous year’s, and the race raised more than $11,000 to provide brand-new shoes for children.
The Rotary Club of Hyannis partnered with Hanlon’s Shoes & New Balance for purchase, and Katelynn’s Closet for distribution. Pat Lentell of SEMC Sports organized the run; rotary members involved were Kelly Skala, Steve Heslinga, and Jitka Borowick, who helped initiate this tradition four years ago.
The following companies and organizations sponsored the effort to put shoes on children’s feet and smiles on their faces: Prime Motor Group as the presenting sponsor, The Rotary Club of Hyannis, Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston, New Balance, Hanlon’s Shoes, SEMC Sports, Cape Cod Healthcare, Cape Cod Orthopaedics, Rockland Trust, Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod, Clean Green, Heslinga & Tate Wealth Management Group, Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District, and Riverway Lobster House.
On the heels of 2020’s success, the Rotary Club of Hyannis is planning its fifth annual Miles for Smiles 5K/10K run. The event will take place on April 24, 2021. The club will be enlisting the help of other Rotary Clubs on and off Cape, with the goal of putting new shoes on the feet of 1,000 children in the community in 2021. Interested sponsors and runners can learn more about the race at hyannisrotary.org.