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C4K Founder Honored With the 2021 Distinguished Goldbug Award

Good ideas are made when an individual or group are able to connect a specific passion with an unmet need. Where those two things intersect lies the opportunity to change communities and empower people to be the best version of themselves. Cleats for Kids is no different.

C4K was founded because of Mark and Stacy McDaniel’s belief in the power of sports. In 2010, Mark was a volunteer basketball coach who spent tons of time at the Pilot Center in downtown Oklahoma City watching his kids compete. Mark also noticed several players and kids on the sidelines who didn’t have the proper footwear to play their best and thought of the pile of sports shoes and equipment his kids had outgrown sitting in the McDaniel garage.

Thus, C4K was born. Mark and his wife Stacy started bringing items with them to the Pilot Center and distributing them out of their trunk. The kids were ecstatic to receive new-to-them shoes that helped them play safely and the McDaniels wondered how they could take this operation to the next level. By the end of 2012, C4K had moved into its first physical location on 48th Street in Oklahoma City and filled it with shoes. Now, ten years later, C4K has equipped over 125,000 kids with 180,000 pieces of sports equipment, touched the lives of young athletes from over 225 Oklahoma school districts and partnered with over 55 local nonprofit organizations to help kids.

To honor Mark and his great idea that has impacted so many kids, the Alva Education Foundation presented him with the Distinguished Goldbug Award this October in Alva, OK! Mark grew up and first learned to love sports in this community and C4K is honored to celebrate with him. “We have a saying around the C4K Office that it all starts with a pair of shoes,” said Mark. “Sports have the power to change lives and it’s been an honor to be a part of this mission for the last decade.”

Our visit to Alva also served as our third Gamechangers Tour stop, which is sponsored by our friends at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Oklahoma. These special events will bring C4K’s mission to communities across Oklahoma. Mark was able to share the C4K story with a group of Alva High School athletes. We can’t wait to further collaborate with this community!