In a unique fundraising effort, a teacher at Journey middle school two weeks ago donated a pair of special running shoes to the school so they could be auctioned off to raise money for a special European trip planned for students.
It’s not the first pair of customized sneakers Zac Vine has produced. His company has produced custom sneakers for athletes and entertainers around the world.
“Right now lead singer of Soul Tower is on tour wearing my shoes and last year Def Leppard came and bought shoes for the whole band to wear on tour,” said Vine, the owner of Zeevy Customs.
“I’ve also done shoes for Marcin Gortat, the centre for the LA Clippers, and a bunch of other celebrities and athletes.”
It all started years ago when Vine was working with at-risk youth and landed on the idea of decorating sneakers as a way to occupy the youth and keep them out of trouble.
These days the custom shoes produced by Vine have an average selling price of more than $1,500.
The shoes are an original design from Six Hundred and Four in Vancouver and Vine has customized them with a design that spoke to the unlimited potential of the students at the school.
“I got back into teaching two years ago after doing the sneakers full time for five years, but I still paint in the evenings and weekends,” explained Vine.
“Last year the kids found out who I was on social media, and I taught an eight-week course on customizing shoes. This year I thought I’d put my talents to work to raise money for this worthwhile cause.”
The shoes went up for auction and when the bids closed on Oct. 19 a teacher at Journey middle school submitted the highest bid. She purchased the shoes for $225.
“That’s great,” said Vine, when he was informed of the results of the auction. “That’s $225 toward the trip. It all adds up.”
Vine said that he will be continuing to teach young people at Journey how to customize sneakers and plans to have them collaborate to create another, special, pair of shoes that will again be put up for auction.
“That way they all chip in and the shoes will represent them all in a very special way. And, if we’re lucky, we’ll be able to raise even more money for the school.”