“Jersey Boys” is in the habit of exceeding more than critics’ expectations. During the Walk Like a Man shoe drive at the “Jersey Boys” theater on Aug. 28, volunteers set a goal of collecting 1,000 pairs of shoes in celebration of the 1,000 show.
About 3,000 pairs of shoes were collected in the space of five hours. Every single pair will benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Las Vegas and the 13,000 kids age 5-18 that are members of the Clubs.
“There were over a thousand people here at noon,” said Rebecca Smith, account coordinator for Kirvin Doak Communications, the public relations firm that organized the event.
Anyone that donated a pair of shoes during the drive received one ticket per pair. Each person was limited to two pairs of shoes and there were initially only 1,000 tickets available for the 6:30 performance on Saturday evening.
However, after the exuberant response, the “Jersey Boys” producers in New York opened up more tickets as incentive for further donations.
“They’ve been really generous in not wanting to turn people away,” Smith said. She continued that all tickets originally set aside for the drive had been given away soon after the event began.
Although tickets had only been reserved for the evening performance on Saturday, more tickets were made available for all the shows on Saturday and the show on Sunday.“We’re into Monday now,” Smith said.
“We sincerely appreciate the producers extending that,” said shoe-contributor and Vegas local Davida-Rochelle. “I’ve lived here for 14 years and wanted to see the show, but unfortunately, prices are challenging for some people. I’m unemployed, but I can contribute $5 for shoes.”
Debbie Smith, the vice president of development at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Las Vegas, talked about how receptive the public and the media have been of the event.
“It’s way more than any of us expected,” she said. Although the local Boys and Girls Club has partnered with other Strip properties before, “this is a really big one, really exciting,” Debbie Smith said. “Everyone’s been wonderful.”
Members of the “Jersey Boys” cast will be stopping by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Las Vegas this coming week. Debbie Smith said the shoes will be brought back to the Club before being handed out so they can be best distributed.