PARKERSBURG – The Robert E. Fouss Memorial Fund has awarded a $1,000 grant to Franklin Elementary School to purchase shoes for students in need.
The fund was created at the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation by the children of Robert E. Fouss to provide a permanent financial resource to carry on their father’s tradition of providing shoes to children in need. Each year, the fund works with a local charitable organization or school to provide money to buy shoes.
Fouss was born in Illinois in 1920 and then moved later with his family to Marietta. He worked for Keystone Shoe Store in Marietta before serving his country during World War II , during which time he was stationed in the Philippines.
After the war, Fouss returned to Keystone Shoe Store and eventually became the manager of Fort Pitt Shoes on Market Street in Parkersburg. Fort Pitt shoes became a Parkersburg favorite for the latest in affordable styles and customer service, the foundation said.
In 1972, Fort Pitt Shoes moved to Grand Central Mall and became Ford Shoes.
In 1982, Fouss retired from the shoe business and enjoyed his retirement years. After his death in 1995, his son, Rob Fouss, said people started telling him stories about how his dad had provided them with shoes through trades for fresh eggs, bacon, or other arrangements when they could not afford to pay.
These stories touched the family deeply. Fouss and his sister Pamela (Fouss) Wenmoth created the Robert E. Fouss Memorial Fund to provide a permanent resource to continue their father’s legacy of supporting children in need by providing them with shoes.
Since its establishment, hundreds of children throughout the community have received shoes in the name of their father.
“My father made sure that any kids who came into his store who needed shoes left with a new pair on their feet,” Fouss said. “It is a humbling feeling to help others less fortunate and this charitable fund is a way that I can honor my father’s lifelong ambition to help those in need.”
Donations to the Robert E. Fouss Memorial Fund are always welcome and will help the fund continue to provide shoes to children in the local area. Donations can be sent to the PACF, P.O. Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26102. For more information about the fund, contact PACF at 304-428-4438 or email@example.com.
The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates works with individuals, families, businesses and civic or non-profit organizations to make a positive and permanent commitment for the future of the community.