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      Midlands coach steps up for cause

      Community members volunteered to walk with Knopf along his route.

      With the support of his co-workers and students, William Knopf mentally prepares himself for the physical challenge of walking in somebody else TMs shoes, except that person doesn TMt have any.

      I thought I would go the extra mile, so I decided to walk eight miles to our basketball game across town, said William Knopf.

      Last year, Knopf started coaching barefoot to raise awareness for a non-profit organization that supplies shoes for needy children around the world.

      His goal is collect 300 pairs of shoes and $500. To inspire people to give, Knopf took his cause to the streets, dressed in a suit and tie with bare feet.

      Coach Knopf has got momentum when he gets his stride, said Glenforest School Principal Chris Winkler.

      To keep himself motivated, Knopf listens to music. He TMs also accompanied by a few familiar faces.

      I admire what he TMs trying to do, said West Columbia Mayor Bobby Horton.

      About half-way through his journey, Knopf picks up the pace. Although his speed doesn TMt last for long, his passion doesn TMt stop.

      I think it was a great opportunity, says Knopf, I got a couple of blisters along the way.

      Knopf TMs barefoot journey ended in Columbia. It took him just under three hours to walk from Glenforest School, but along the way he managed to collect an additional $100 from motorists.

      Knopf had already reached his goal before Friday TMs walk. In just three days he raised nearly $700 and more than 250 pairs of shoes, but that doesn TMt mean he TMs going to stop. He TMll keep collecting both shoes and money until next Friday.