Shoe drive to honor memory of a beloved shoemaker

'New Soles in Honor of a Special Soul' pays tribute to master craftman Josef Kucher


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  • Mary Decker with shoe donations (Photo provided)




  • "Mr. Josef Kucher (pictured) was kind to others, generous to strangers, loving and forgiving, honorable, hard working, talented, community minded and cherished his family," says the Tristate Chamber. "His generosity to children lives on through Kucher's Kids Shoe Drive." (Photo provided)



, N.Y. — The Tri-State Chamber of Commerce is hosting the second annual Kucher’s Kids Shoe Drive in November.

Last year's inaugural shoe drive collected 1,017 new pairs of shoes and sneakers for children in need in the tri-state community.

“The outpouring of love in Mr. Kucher’s memory was simply overwhelming and heartwarming,” said Mary Decker, even chair. “The chamber wishes to continue to honor Mr. Kucher’s life and legacy again this year.”

Josef Kucher owned Kucher Shoe Repair in Port Jervis, For more than 40 years, he repaired and created shoes with master craftsmanship in his Front Street shop.

He lost his life when he was killed in his shop on Nov. 8, 2014. 

The children's shoe drive will kick off from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Erie Trackside Manor, Jersey Ave., Port Jervis. There will be food, cash bar, door prizes (bring your business cards for exchange and raffles), and networking with other businesses in the area.

The kick-off is sponsored by Bon Secours Community Hospital, Orange and Rockland Utilities and Erie Trackside Manor. Admission will be waived if you bring a pair of new kid's shoes or sneakers or make a monetary contribution to purchase shoes. The entire donation will buy new shoes to be distributed through tristate area churches, schools, local charities and to individual families upon request.

Drop off locationsShoes will continue to be collected through Nov. 22, and can be dropped off at the following locations in Port Jervis:

Tri-State Chamber office, 5 South Broome Street

Mad Dog Liquor, 291 East Main Street

The Gun Lady, 41 Front Street

The Edward Jones office, 139 Pike Street

After Nov. 22, distribution will begin through local charitable organizations, schools, and churches. 

To mail a donation, make checks payable to the Tri-State Chamber of Commerce and send to: PO Box 121, Port Jervis, NY 12771.

If your local organization would like to receive some of the shoes collected, contact the chamber at info@tristatechamber.org or 845-856-6694 for more information.

“We are especially grateful for the love and support received from the entire Kucher family for this wonderful initiative,” said Charlene Trotter, Executive Director Tri-State Chamber of Commerce. "Let's celebrate by putting new 'soles' on our precious kids in tribute to a beautiful 'soul,' Mr. Kucher!"

Distributors

The 2016 distribution included:
The Salvation Army of Port Jervis/Milford
Project Discovery
Elks Club Port Jervis
Delaware Valley School System
Port Jervis School System
Eldred School System
Montague Elementary School
CDD Kids Pike County
Presbyterian Church Port Jervis
Head Start Port Jervis
Tri-state firehouses
Saint Ann’s Church Shohola
Local families that contacted the organization directly
The National Honor Society of Port Jervis High School raised money and collected shoes within the school system


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