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Hub City Sneaker Ball brings in more than 1,300 pairs of shoes for kids in need

About 285 people attended the 2022 event, donating shoes to Hattiesburg schools and money to battle mental illness.
Published: May. 8, 2022 at 7:51 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A black-tie ball is turning into one of the biggest charitable events in the Hub City.

Daniel Cook started the Hub City Sneaker Ball in 2021 as a way to celebrate his 40th birthday, but it has grown into a way to raise money and gather 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, celebrating myself but also finding a way to give back to the community,” said Cook. “That’s how it started.

“Hub City Sneaker Ball was born from me wanting to celebrate myself and others and give back to the community and here we are.”

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

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

“Last year, with the COVID restrictions, we were limited,” Cook said. “We had about 130 guests. This year, we’re looking at about 285 plus. People are donating shoes, and we’re raising money for mental health and wellness, and we’re just bringing the people out for a good cause.”

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

The Boujee Boss Pop-up Market inside Turtle Creek Mall will be taking shoe donations all summer long.

Donations can be new or slightly used shoes, ranging in sizes for kids K-12.

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