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Former 'little' helps out Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island with shoe giveaway

The East Northport Renarts Footwear and Activewear location

The East Northport Renarts Footwear and Activewear location will give away shoes to "little brothers" from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island. Former "little" Chase Ceparano, now the creative director for Renarts Footwear and Activewear, spearheaded the effort. (March 29, 2013) (Credit: Handout)

A former “little brother” at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island is paying it forward by holding a “Kicks for Kids” event, which will provide new sneakers to the organization’s current little brothers.

At age 10, Chase Ceparano had lost his father to AIDS and was raised by his grandmother while his mother struggled with a terminal illness.

“I was barely showing up to school at the time and my guidance counselor came to me and offered me the opportunity to be mentored,” said Ceparano, 28, of Northport. “I promised myself years back that someday I would give back in any way I could.”


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To thank the organization that helped him, Ceparano, now the creative director for Renarts Footwear and Activewear, asked the independently owned local shoe retailer to help him give back to the organization that gave him so much.

On April 6, the store’s East Northport location, at 2060 Jericho Tpke., will provide new shoes to the organization’s nearly 50 little brothers between noon and 3 p.m.

“We have 50 littles [ages 7-16] already signed up,” said Mark Cox, chief development officer at BBBSLI, which pairs adult volunteers with children facing adversity in a mentoring program. “They’ll go there with their big brothers or sisters to get fitted and leave with a pair of their own.”

Cox said this is the second shoe fitting event Ceparano’s store has hosted, but the April 6 event will be at a larger scale.

“These shoes are premium shoes that these children wouldn’t normally be able to afford, so the opportunity to go to the store, pick out the style they like and not have to pay for it is a great opportunity,” Cox said. “This also shows the success of our program having Chase come back after being a little brother and creating this opportunity to give back.”

Tags: East Northport , Big Brothers , Big Sisters , Long Island , towns , Renarts , Chase Ceparano

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