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Shoes For Life

Matt Blake, Online Editor

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As a school and a community, people have banded together to give back to a teacher that has given so much to them.

Tom Stephen looks like any normal man, he’s a school teacher, a husband and a daughter of three girls. When he isn’t working at Palm Harbor University High School he enjoys spending time with his family at the beach and being outdoors

But there is a part of Mr. Stephen’s life that most people do not see from the outside looking in. His daughter, Laura, has a birth defect that only affects one in 92,000. Her condition affects her limbs to be different than normal. In the past, he has received shoes from the Shriners organization and has attempted to build shoes himself. He knew that he had to do something to provide his daughter with more shoes to keep up with her growing.

Mr. Stephen became aware of a shoe school where he could go and learn how to make shoes for his daughter. At first he was concerned about the price of the school and if he was able to do it or not.

A former student of PHUHS and a former student of Mr. Stephen became aware of this cause and decided to help Mr. Stephen. “The fundraiser met its goal in three days, all from small donations from the community,” said Mr. Stephan

In 86 donations $4,611 has been raised for Mr. Stephan to pay for the school. “I can hardly talk about it without tearing up,” Mr. Stephan said.

With the knowledge he can gain from this camp he will be able to build his daughter shoes for a lifetime. “I am beyond thankful to have this opportunity, you really see how much a community cares when you see this support,” Mr. Stephan said.

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Shoes For Life