Teams participate in the fundraising basketball tournament, Summer Shootout for Shoes, in Santa Barbara Saturday.  (Julia Lee / Noozhawk photo)

Franklin Elementary School hosted the Summer Shootout for Shoes basketball tournament Saturday to fundraise for a program giving shoes to Eastside families in need.

The Training CAMP Foundation hosted the event, its third annual three-on-three tournament. 

The nonprofit provides after-school programs at local elementary schools and and hosts quarterly sports camps.

“I turned 30 three years ago and I wanted to do something cool for the community and I asked the principal what is the most need for the school and she said shoes by far, because everyone wears uniforms,” said Sergio Hernandez, Training CAMP founder and program director. 

“The biggest disparity are the shoes, so kids coming with holes in their shoes or two sizes too big or too small.”

Franklin Principal Casie Killgore identifies the students who are most in need of shoes and gets the sizes, and TCAMP raises the money and get the shoes, Hernandez said. 

The organization has also taken shoe donations directly and sometimes distributes shoes to older siblings or parents. 

“We did about 75 pairs the first year, and last year a little more,” Hernandez said.

“This year we’re on target to reach 100 pairs. It was a good experience and it’s just fun — a great way to combine basketball and people wanting to help kids. Just the joy on the faces when the kids got their new shoes was just a really amazing experience,” he said.

Ten teams signed up for the basketball tournament and many businesses contributed to the cause, including Taqueria El Buen Gusto, Los Altos Mexican Restaurant, El Bajio, Caesar’s Mexican Restaurant, Sam’s To Go, Chipotle, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Tri County Produce and Zia Group. 

“I was overwhelmed by the gratitude I felt towards these family-owned restaurants and businesses in the Eastside, and having these people not know me well but to believe in our program and this cause and investing in the kids in the community,” Hernandez said. 

“It’s a great cause because you’re out here and all you’re doing is playing basketball but these donations you’re making, you’re making it way bigger than playing basketball,” said tournament participant Johnathan Harrell. “It’s helping kids out to go play what they love and what they dream for.” 

Noozhawk intern Julia Lee can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.