Somerset Presbyterian Church Collecting Shoes For Star 99.1’s ‘Empty Shoe Memorial’

2016 Empty Shoe Memorial - 3

Somerset Presbyterian Church on John F. Kennedy Boulevard has established a collection point for Star 99.1’s “Empty Shoe Memorial.”

A township church is helping a Zarephath-based radio station to create a temporary Sept. 11 memorial.

Somerset Presbyterian Church, 100 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, is serving as a collection point for Star 99.1’s “Empty Shoe Memorial.” The station is collecting 2,996 pairs of shoes, one for every person who was killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, as a way to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the attacks.

The memorial “will be a visually moving tribute designed to reflect on the men, women and children who died, honor our uniformed heroes and celebrate the spirit of unity that arose in the days following” the attack, according to the campaign’s web site.

The church has created a 24-hour drop-off point at its entrance near the exit driveway.

Somerset Presbyterian’s participation was spurred by a member of its Board of Deacons, who goes by Deacon Linda.

Linda said she was listening to the radio station one day and heard that it had set up a temporary collection point at the Somerset Diner on Easton Avenue.

She decided to stop by and speak with the station’s representatives.

“I thought it was wonderful what they’re doing,” she said. “It touched me.”

She brought the idea back to her fellow deacons, Linda said, who agreed that the church should become involved.

A table and collection bin went up on Aug. 7, and will remain until at least the end of August, she said.

Deacon Linda said she also spoke with representatives at the Piscataway Applebee’s restaurant on Centennial Avenue, and they, too, agreed to establish a collection point.

Linda said she did it to honor the station and what the station was trying to accomplish.

“We totally admire (Star 99.1) for their involvement, their dedication in the community and what they do,” she said.

“You have to open your heart up and give them credit,” she said. “What they’re doing really touched my heart.”

The Empty Shoe Memorial will be displayed at a spot on Weston Canal Road between Schoolhouse and Upper Pond roads from Sept. 10 through Sept. 18, according to the campaign’s web site.

After the memorial is taken down, the shoes will be donated to Soles 4 Souls, a non-profit dedicated to fighting poverty through providing shoes and clothing.


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