Coaches go barefoot

Lake Region State College basketball coaches will go barefoot February 24th to support Samaritan’s Feet. 

This is the 5th year Lake Region Coaches Danny Mertens and Jared Marshall and their staff have coached a game their bare feet to draw for the need for shoes both right here at home and around the world

Samaritan’s Feet is a humanitarian aid organization that serves and inspires hope in children and adults by providing shoes as the foundation to a spiritual and healthy life resulting in the advancement of education and economic opportunities.. For more information, please visit the Samaritan’s Feet display in the lobby or go to  

Samaritan’s Feet was founded in 2003 by Manny & Tracie Ohonme. Since that time, nearly 6.9 million pairs of shoes have been distributed in 389 US cities in 41 states and in 108 countries around the world. The organization is based in Charlotte, NC. There are also offices in Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Hong Kong and the Philippines. 

Since 2013, over 6,500 children across North Dakota have been blessed with new shoes at 28 events held in Bismarck, Grand Forks, Fargo, Cannon Ball, Solen, Jamestown, as well over 1,500 served here in Devils Lake and Fort Totten. This August, coaches, staff and student athletes from Lake Region and other community volunteers will come together for the 6th year in a row to serve area children by washing their feet and blessing them with a new pair of shoes and socks as they get ready head back to school. New shoes and financial contributions from today’s games will be used toward that “Back to School” effort. 

Devils Lake is a very special place for Samaritan’s Feet as it was here where Samaritan’s Feet Co-Founder Manny Ohonme moved from his home in Nigeria to play basketball at Lake Region and where he met his wife, Tracie Elfman, a native of Devils Lake. He went on to receive his Bachelor’s degree from Concordia College and a Master’s degree from NDSU. Manny was inducted in to the Lake Region Hall of Fame in October, 2016. 

According to a “Champions for Kids” report, shoes and socks are in the “Top 5 Items Schools Need You to Donate.” There are an estimated 2.2 billion people worldwide living in poverty and more than 1.5 billion who suffer from foot borne diseases. The goal of Samaritan’s Feet is to create a world with zero shoeless children. Samaritan’s Feet shares a message of love and hope by washing the feet of those who receive shoes, helping them believe that their dreams can come true.