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Richardson delivers 307 pairs of shoes to Wingate

Richardson delivers 307 pairs of shoes to Wingate


On May 5, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson delivered 307 pairs of athletic shoes to Wingate High School for students in part of the Gov. Bill Richardson/President Peterson Zah COVID-19 Navajo Families Relief Fund.

Courtesy photo | Joseph Leon
Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, on May 5, gave away 307 pairs of athletic shoes to students at Wingate High, including to Karlonya Yazzie.

This donation brings the total to more than 1,000 pairs of shoes donated to students attending Navajo Nation schools.

A longtime supporter of the Navajo people, Richardson established the fund in April of 2020 with former Navajo Nation President Peterson Zah to help get essential supplies and equipment to the Navajo people to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Within two years, the Richardson-Zah fund purchased and delivered medical supplies to eight Navajo hospitals, paid for a respiratory doctor’s salary at Rehoboth Hospital in Gallup, and donated food, water, PPE products, diapers, dog food, and dry goods to hundreds of Navajo families.

“Then we heard that Navajo children needed shoes during the lockdown,” Richardson said. “We worked with Navajo golfer Notah Begay III’s foundation to secure discounts and began buying shoes. I’m proud to say we helped students in Manuelito, Shiprock, Sheep Springs, Sawmill, Fort Defiance, Crystal, Crownpoint, Lake Valley, Albuquerque, and now Wingate.”

The outdoor stadium at Wingate was filled with 200 students, teachers, and staff wearing masks as they greeted Richardson.

Also in attendance, Navajo shoe designer Lacey Trujillo designs shoes for tennis superstars Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka. She works at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.

Students Janae Wagner and Joshua Notah sang several songs in Navajo at the event.

Courtesy photo | Joseph Leon
Students, including Joshua Notah, right, and Janae Wagner, second from right, help former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson unload 307 pairs of athletic shoes to give to students at Wingate High on May 5.

Richardson thanked the teachers and staff during Teacher Appreciation Week and spoke about working hard in school, staying motivated, and continuing Wingate’s winning sports teams in basketball, track, and rodeo.

“It’s been tough for many Navajo and New Mexico families as we struggle to overcome COVID-19 and its variants,” he said. “We’re making progress by continuing to take precautions, but we still need to be careful as we rebuild our lives coming back from COVID. I’m pleased to see students and teachers still wearing masks.”


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