The Clewiston News

People of U.S. Sugar donate 1,300 pairs of shoes


Special to The Clewiston News/Courtesy photo
The People of U.S. Sugar recently donated more than 1,300 pairs of shoes to area school children. Left to right are: (back row) Lesle Hare – Glades County School Counselor, Mike Pressley – Glades County School Board, Felinda Langdale – Moore Haven Elementary School Principal, Mr. Robert H. Buker – President & CEO U.S. Sugar, Shannon Bass – Glades County School Counselor, Janice Foster – Moore Haven Middle High School Principal, Patricia Pearce – Glades County School Board, Jon Basquin – Hendry County School Board, Paul Puletti – Hendry County Superintendent. Front row: Tony Busin – Westside Elementary School Principal.

CLEWISTON — Recently, U.S. Sugar President and CEO Robert H. Buker presented more than 1,300 pairs of new shoes to school board officials, teachers and student representatives from Hendry and Glades county schools from Laces of Love, a Naples-based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing children in need with a new pair of shoes. The shoes were collected as part of a company-wide competition.

“Lending a helping hand to the youth of our community is a large part of who we are at U.S. Sugar,” said U.S. Sugar’s Community Relations Manager Jennifer Black. “We are proud to support Laces of Love and make sure that students in our local schools who need them get a new pair of shoes. This partnership with Laces of Love is a win-win for U.S. Sugar and our communities.”

Special to The Clewiston News/Courtesy photo
U.S. Sugar President & CEO Robert H. Buker visits with Clewiston-area students.

For the third straight year, U.S. Sugar and its employees increased the number of shoes that had been donated over the previous year. Last year’s shoe drive produced 1,000 pairs, and this year, with the company providing an equal match to its employee donations, more than 1,300 pairs of shoes will be distributed to students in Hendry and Glades county schools.

As a motivation to encourage competition among its many different departments, U.S. Sugar once again offered a trophy and a year’s worth of bragging rights to the department that brought in the most shoes. For the second year in a row, the winning department was Agriculture Operations and Railroad, headed by Ken McDuffie, senior vice president. Sugarcane Operations and Railroad Division employees generously donated more than 200 pairs of new shoes.

The Laces of Love Charitable Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that provides new shoes to low-income and disadvantaged children and educates the public about the needs of these children. U.S. Sugar has been a partner since 2015.