'Tennies from Heaven' remembers a son taken too soon - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Localnews

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

'Tennies from Heaven' remembers a son taken too soon

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, December 19, 2009 12:00 am

It was a horrific traffic crash on Independence Day that altered three lives.

It also resulted in more than 4,500 children’s lives being made a little better ,and a recent change in state law means even more could get help.

Steven Welch, a delivery man for Domino’s Pizza at night and a computer science student by day, was killed July 4, 2001, as he was making his last delivery. His car was struck broadside by a Mitsubishi driven by Scott Sucharew at Equestrian Trail and the Warner-Elliot Loop.

Police say Sucharew was drunk, with a blood alcohol level of 0.141, when he began racing at over 70 mph with then-Desert Vista High School junior Weston Doyle.

Sucharew, a former U.S. Army medic, staggered away from the crash, and attempted to hide from police. Doyle lost control of his Mustang and slammed into a wall. Welch died almost immediately at the scene and firefighters had to use heavy equipment to extricate him from his car.

In the end, Sucharew was sentenced to 11 years in prison for the second-degree murder of Welch, and Doyle received two years probation for racing and reckless driving.

And that would have been the end of the story, expect Welch’s mother, Pat, wanted a way to remember her son.

At the time, as a teacher in the Cartwright Elementary School District, she was very familiar with students and families who consider a new pair of shoes and socks a luxury, so she created Tennies From Heaven to honor her son.

Since 2002, Pat and her 89-year-old mother, Evelyn Hagar, collect and then distribute shoes and socks to students in some of the poorer schools in the area, working with teachers and school nurses.

“The faces tell you a lot, they are smiling, thanking us. Boys are the pickiest,” Pat said. “That was a surprise: we thought girls would be the pickiest.”

But at times it’s been difficult for Pat, who retired several years ago.

“We don’t get a lot of monetary donations … I just stretch the money as far as I can,” she said.

At one point there was just $7.06 in the checking account when an Ahwatukee Foothills man donated $1,000. And over the years Payless Shoes and The BAR Personal Training Studio in Ahwatukee Foothills have conducted annual shoe drives that have benefited Tennies From Heaven.

“I see a penny on the ground and I say, 'OK Steve, I’ll go on,’” Pat said.

Now, a change in Arizona law this summer may help Pat and Tennies From Heaven continue to provide tennis shoes and socks to deserving students.

Arizona law provides a charitable tax credit for cash contributions made to qualifying organizations that provide help to the working poor and Pat Welch said that Tennies From Heaven has been listed as a qualifying charity for several years. But until recently donors had a complicated reporting process that made it difficult for some to donate.

Changes in the law eliminate an old requirement that taxpayers go back to 1996 to establish a baseline for contributions. Now donations up to $200 per person, or $400 per couple, qualify for a dollar-for-dollar tax credit on the itemized 2009 Arizona income tax return. And because Tennies From Heaven is a qualified charity with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), donations are also tax deductible on itemized federal income tax returns.

Tennies From Heaven runs solely on donations and all the money goes for new shoes and socks for needy children. Pat hopes that a financial shot in the arm will allow her to expand the number of children she serves each year.

“I’m just so excited,” she said.

 

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Cornyn: Clintons 'Acting Like the Rules that Apply to...Everybody Else Don't Apply to Them'

(CNSNews.com) - Former President Bill Clinton's private meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch not only "looks really bad," but it's typi…

Published: July 1, 2016 - 9:25 am @ http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/co…

From Ocean to Plate

By J.P. Brooker As World Oceans Month unfolds this June, it’s a good time to think about the health and stability of our global marine resourc…

Published: July 1, 2016 - 9:06 am @ https://greenlivingaz.com/ocean-to-plate/

AM Roundup: Lynch’s Pledge

Law Blog rounds up the morning’s legal news: Unsettled: The Second Circuit threw out a $7 billion antitrust settlement between Visa and Master…

Published: July 1, 2016 - 8:24 am @ http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2016/07/01/am-roundup-lyn…

Kaya Henderson On The Move, For-Profit Higher Ed, Accountability Games, Online Earnestness, CTE, Higher Ed, Charters, And Teachers Unions Against Investors! Plus Cheese News.

Happy Independence Day weekend! On this date in 1863 the Army of the Potomac led by George Meade and the Army of Northern Virginia led by Robe…

Published: July 1, 2016 - 8:24 am @ http://www.eduwonk.com/2016/07/kaya-henderson-on-t…

U.S. Manufacturing Expands at Fastest Pace in More Than a Year

Factory activity expanded in June at the fastest clip in more than a year, an encouraging sign that American manufacturers are gaining tractio…

Published: July 1, 2016 - 8:01 am @ https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-01…

After a national scandal, New Mexico’s veterans health care is looking up

Info For years, military veterans have complained about how long it takes to get an appointment with a Veterans Administration health care pro…

Published: July 1, 2016 - 7:35 am @ http://www.hcn.org/articles/after-a-national-scand…

The Best Movies and TV Shows Coming to Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime, and Hulu in July

Every month, tons of new movies and TV shows become available to stream for free for subscribers to Netflix Instant, Hulu, HBO NOW, and Amazon…

Published: July 1, 2016 - 7:23 am @ http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2016/07/01/the…

Simulation and Nanotechnology

When discussing nanotechnology and simulation, imagine Schrödinger’s cat (or perhaps Alice’s Cheshire version) is peering over your shoulder, …

Published: July 1, 2016 - 6:53 am @ http://www.deskeng.com/de/simulation-and-nanotechnology/

Algorithmic Tattoo Identification Could Have All Sorts of Scary Consequences

The hammer of Thor, or Mjölnir, is an ancient Norse symbol that has been appropriated by white supremacists since at least World War II. Hans …

Published: July 1, 2016 - 5:52 am @ http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_te…

Attorney general to back FBI and Justice findings in Clinton email server probe

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch will support the recommendations from prosecutors and others leading probes into the use of a private email …

Published: July 1, 2016 - 5:23 am @ https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-secu…

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…