COOS COUNTY — Jennie’s Shoes has raised $1,500 in donations for Bryan’s Home.
The fourth annual Shoe Art for Deserving Soles fundraiser brought in the most donations it ever has, something Jennie’s Shoes owner Suzy Gibbs attributed to a community that actively supports its veterans. Once the renovations to Bryan’s Home are completed, it will begin housing homeless veterans and helping to get them back on their feet.
Krystal Hopper and Patrick Wright from Bryan's Home stand with Suzy Gibbs, owner of Jennie's Shoes, to receive a donation of $1,500.
“I think it’s amazing what the community put together,” said Patrick Wright, owner of Bryan’s Home. “It’s cool to see everyone come together and pitch in when they can.”
Gibbs pointed out that the fundraiser lasted through two of Coos Bay’s biggest summer events — the Blackberry Festival and the Fun Festival — which may have also helped raise money. Donations were gathered as the public voted on their favorite decorated shoe, which included one painted as a watermelon, another propped up as a shoe tree with a cutout of Bryan’s Home next to it, a sandal decorated with shells, a patriotic sandal featuring American flags and blue and red flowers and even a floating shoe. Photos of the winning entries can be seen on Jennie's Shoes Facebook page.
Gifts were also given to the participants, donated from the Art Connection, Tony’s Crab Shack, South Coast Family Dentistry and the Pottery Company.
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Bryan’s Home has entered its next building phase. This means framing up the inside and fully restoring water and power. Wright explained that the project recently hit a road bump when the City of North Bend told him that the building needed fire suppression as well, something that is estimated to cost almost $40,000.
“When we looked at this back in December, before I purchased the property, I asked about this,” Wright said. “In the code, if you’re already operating prior to when fire suppression systems were mandatory, you were grandfathered in and we were. Now, because of the way we’re housing our veterans, it is considered temporary housing and changes our status.”
That change in status means Bryan’s Home must be brought up to the city's current codes, which includes fire suppression.
Wright thanked Jennie’s Shoes and the community for the donation, which will go toward this new unplanned expense.
To make a donation to Bryan’s Home, checks can be mailed to the location at 1520 Sherman Ave., in North Bend.