What if you could transform something you love and enjoy into an activity that helps people? That’s the question Sheree Boegner asked herself years ago when her Sassy Shoe Social, an event she personally created so that she could connect with her friends, started to grow far beyond what she anticipated. 10 years after the first Sassy Shoe Social, this event currently attracts hundreds of women throughout the B/CS area and provides them with not only an opportunity to relax and be themselves but also gives them an opportunity to give back; the Sassy Shoe Social benefits Phoebe’s Home, a local 24/7 emergency shelter for domestic violence victims, and strives to educate the public on issues of domestic violence.
The story of Sassy Shoe Social began 10 years ago, when Boegner organized the first event so that she and her girlfriends could have a night out together. They had a runway set up, and each of the women wore their favorite shoes and showed off for each other. However, some of her close friends couldn’t make it, so she decided to organize an event for the following year as well. For the third year, as the Sassy Shoe Social kept growing and growing, Boegner thought to herself, “If we can do more good with this event, let’s do it!” She carefully considered who and what she wanted to benefit when one of her friends suggested that she donate shoes to Phoebe’s Home, which is a component of Twin City Mission’s Domestic Violence Shelter program that was founded in 1978.
Phoebe’s Home, according to their website, offers at no cost “emergency shelter, nutritional meals, laundry facilities, daily needs (toiletries, clothing), transportation, and recreational activities” to all of their tenants. Boegner decided that Phoebe’s Home was the perfect organization to benefit because she “had a few friends go through domestic violence, but [she] had no idea they were going through it until they were done with it.” In other words, the mission of Phoebe’s Home is connected deeply with Boegner and the women who attended the Sassy Shoe Social. “Putting events on is not easy,” Boegner stated, “but if we can get one person to understand what domestic violence is, it’s worth it.”
That year, the women who attended the Sassy Shoe Social gave over 400 pairs of shoes to Phoebe’s Home. The next year, as the event continued to expand, they raised over $4,500.00 and donated truckloads full of clothes, shoes, and other household items. This year, the Sassy Shoe Social is either partnered with or sponsored by close to a dozen different business in the BCS area, allowing them to donate more supplies than ever to Phoebe’s Home. Boegner continues to be surprised and thankful about what she and her friends have been able to accomplish thanks to others stepping in: “The community has really dug deep in their pockets to help. We really are blessed.”
While the event has since grown to include a battle of the handbags, the heart and soul of the Sassy Shoe Social is in wearing your favorite shoes and strutting your stuff on the runway. When you show up, you can wear your favorite pair of designer high heels, or you can bring out that goofy pair of sneakers you bought from a thrift store years ago for a laugh; there will be no judgment from any of the guests. According to Sassy Shoe Social’s website, they are intent on “giving people the opportunity to shine and build their confidence by walking a runway in their favorite shoes just being themselves.” Despite being primarily a charity event, the Sassy Shoe Social has a way of giving back to those who show up. Women are given the chance to dress however they wish and show off, something that many find extremely liberating. Boegner puts it this way: “it gives both ways; people love walking the runway.”
As Boegner discovered, you can, in fact, transform something that is fun and personally liberating into an activity that helps people. The Sassy Shoe Social takes place on Saturday, August 24 and will be located at the Brazos County Expo Center in downtown Bryan. If you want to purchase tickets or discover more about the event, be sure to check out the following link: http://bit.ly/2zbkde8