Shoes for western Ky

Some of the crew who help pass out 10,000 pair of shoes to displaced Kentuckians through Samaritan's Feet International on Sunday. Gov. Andy Beshear, Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman and UK basketball coach John Calipari were among those handing out the shoes.

DAWSON SPRING, Ky. - Gov. Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman were joined Sunday by special guests as they handed out shoes to Kentuckians displaced by the Dec. 10 storms that devastated parts of Western Kentucky.

The governor and lieutenant governor teamed up with University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari and Manny Ohonme, president and CEO of Samaritan’s Feet, to pass out 5,000 pair of shoes to displaced Kentuckians staying at two Kentucky state resort parks. They were also joined by UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart and former men’s basketball players Darius Miller and Jack Givens.

“We are all neighbors in Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “We love one another and we look out for one another. And my commitment to the folks of Western Kentucky is, we won’t be here just this week or this month, but we will be here every single day for however long it takes to rebuild every building and every life, to get everyone as close as we can to where they need to be.”

Calipari, a close friend of Ohonme who has worked with him the past through the UK program, told him of the need for shoes in Kentuckiy.

“I called Manny with Samaritan’s Feet after hearing from the Governor we need shoes, and Manny turned this around in 48 hours,” Calipari said. “I’ve seen the damage on TV and today’s not about that – it’s about the people, that’s what this is about. Hearing stories today just hits home. We’re all thinking about you, praying for you and we’re going to be here for you.”

Samaritan’s Feet has donated thousands of shoes to Kentuckians impacted by the Western Kentucky tornadoes who are being housed at Kentucky state parks. Gov. Beshear and Lt. Gov. Coleman personally delivered shoes to displaced Kentuckians lodged at Lake Barkley State Resort Park in Cadiz and Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park in Dawson Springs.

Shoes will also be distributed to those staying at other state resort parks as well as those sheltering elsewhere in the region.

“We Kentuckians have grit, but we have compassion in equal measure, and we truly are showing up for each other right now," Coleman said. "I want to thank all the volunteers, everyone who has donated to our Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund, and this morning, I especially want to thank Coach Cal and Samaritan’s Feet. Today, Manny, you too are a Kentuckian.”

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