Chattanooga, TN – 06-01-2023
The HAPPY SHOES Project, in collaboration with Erlanger Children’s Hospital, proudly announces the launch of the Children’s Backpack program. This momentous event, held at the hospital’s lobby, marks the beginning of a meaningful initiative that aims to bring joy and hope to children battling cancer and those in the NICU unit.

The Children’s Backpacks provided by The HAPPY SHOES Project are thoughtfully curated with items designed to uplift and inspire young patients. Each backpack includes a copy of the heartwarming Children’s Book “Happy Shoes” and its accompanying coloring book. Furthermore, each child will receive a voucher to redeem their very own pair of HAPPY SHOES. The program extends its support to children undergoing cancer treatments as well as those in the NICU unit, a heartfelt tribute to Addi Jane Sammons, the granddaughter who spent her first four months of life in the NICU.

At the event, Food City Grocery, the project’s largest corporate sponsor, presented a generous donation of $50,000. President Steve Smith, alongside Keith Sammons of The HAPPY SHOES Project, symbolized the powerful bond between these organizations, showcasing their commitment to making a difference in the community. Smith and Sammons share a longstanding friendship, having worked together over three decades ago in the grocery chain across the southeast to East Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee.

The HAPPY SHOES Project was inspired by Sandi Sammons, who bravely fought colon cancer and used her own journey as a source of hope and inspiration. In her memory, Sandi’s husband, Keith Sammons, Keith Sammons along with his wife Misti, Son and Daughter in-law Parker and Alanna Sammons carry on her legacy through this impactful project. Sandi’s photograph of her “happy shoes” and her writing became a testament to her resilience and faith during her battle, touching the lives of many until her passing in April 2017.

The launch event was graced by notable figures from Erlanger Children’s Hospital, including CEO Dr. Charles Wood, Lead Oncologist Dr. Avery Mixon, and their esteemed team. Blane Kelley, Senior Public Relations Manager, represented the hospital’s dedication to this cause.

In addition, Food City’s President, Steve Smith, led the company’s delegation, accompanied by Marketing Director Kevin Stafford, Executive VP, Regional Trainer Jeff Hall, Regional Manager Rodney Dillard, and Regional Events Manager Jaci Kazy. The presence of these Food City executives exemplifies their ongoing support for The HAPPY SHOES Project and their commitment to raising awareness within the community.

“The HAPPY SHOES Project continues to honor Sandi’s legacy and uplift children facing challenging circumstances,” said Keith Sammons, founder of The HAPPY SHOES Project. “With each step forward, we aim to bring hope, joy, and inspiration to those in need.”

The Children’s Backpack program launch at Erlanger Children’s Hospital marks a significant milestone for The HAPPY SHOES Project, propelling their mission to make a positive impact on the lives of young patients.

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