Gov Goes Barefoot To Spur Group's Shoe Donations

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - It's tough, Gov. Mitch Daniels says, to sound like a chief executive when you're standing before a gaggle of reporters in your bare feet.

At his weekly news conference in his Statehouse office Friday, he answered questions about the budget and other important matters
- while standing in front of a pile of shoes with his feet au naturel.

The point was to raise awareness of Samaritan's Feet, a group that collects new shoes for needy people around the world.

"Do you know how hard it is to give serious answers to questions (barefoot)?" Daniels joked to reporters. "I'm not sure you guys take me seriously anyway."

The Fort Mill, S.C.-based group is trying to collect 1 million pairs of shoes this year. Group founder Manny Ohonme joined the governor for the news conference, urging Hoosiers to make donations.

Also on hand was Ron Hunter, men's basketball coach at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, who is helping the group promote a go-barefoot campaign among high school and college coaches.
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(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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