August is here, and it’s time for my favorite contest – Walk A Mile In My Shoes. Since I enjoy this event so much, I wanted to share my experiences with this contest with my neighbors.

Walk A Mile In My Shoes is sponsored by the Variety Club of North Texas. It gives contest participants the chance to spend a day with some of the City’s most notable citizens, such as Police Chief Ben Click, News 8 anchor Gloria Campos, KLIF personality Norm Hitzges, Young Country 105 morning host Johnny Stone, and Liz Minyard’s Food Stores.

The cost is only $1 per entry. However, if you are bitten by this contest’s bug like I am, you can enter hundreds of times to boost your chances. Even if you don’t win, you have the satisfaction of knowing your money is going to a good cause – the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dallas.

If you win, you receive a once in a lifetime experience. I entered the contest for the first time three years ago and won a day with Assistant City Manager Levi Davis. After spending time with him, I learned Davis is one of our City’s lesser-known champions.

The day I shadowed him, we did everything from a news conference with the mayor to visiting the landfill with the head of streets and sanitation, with whom I had a very interesting talk about recycling.

One of the big concerns at that time was a development fund for small businesses in the Fair Park area. Davis noted that while it involved a small amount of money compared with the size of the City budget, the grants would be a large amount of money to the recipients.

I could see this was a politically touchy matter, but Davis took requests for grants head-on in a fair and pragmatic manner.

The following year, I purchased a large number of entries to shadow Chief Click. Increasing my odds paid off, because I won.

At the time I shadowed him, Click had only been chief for a few weeks. I think the jury was still out on how the City would accept him. As the day progressed, I realized click was a good pick, and two years later it seems that the City has come to the same conclusion.

Click was at ease with everyone, whether it was his own officers or a neighborhood activist who dislikes the police. At the same time, I saw that he was a chief who would stand strongly for what he felt was right, such as his community-based policing.

Last year, I shadowed Lyle Yates, head of the Kroger Company, and received an inside view of what makes a large, successful company tick.

This contest gives me an opportunity to meet very influential people I normally wouldn’t get to see, much less meet. I have seen what these newsmakers go through in the course of the day and how their work is important to our community.

You may still have a chance to enter this year’s contest and take advantage of this unique opportunity. Just bring your pocket change or your checkbook to the City Lights party Aug. 3 at the Café Express on Beltline Road in Addison. If you didn’t enter the contest this year, I hope you will join next year.

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