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story.lead_photo.caption Members of the Sheltered Reality Drumline gather for a photo following a recent performance. Photo by Submission

California's Sheltered Reality Drumline concluded a successful shoe drive this week, ultimately collecting 700 pairs of shoes.

Parent sponsor Kayle Kiesling said the drive ended up accumulating 28 bags of 25 pairs of shoes. She said organizers with Sheltered Reality have mentioned this is the best donation total they've seen from a brand-new site like California. The shoe drive took place across three months, starting in August.

Kayle said the children participating in the drumline and their parents were all involved in the collection process, bringing donation bags to Kiesling and her daughter throughout the window. Central Bank and Commerce Bank had collection boxes for drop-offs, and several anonymous donors would even leave bags of shoes on the porches at Kiesling's business and home, she said.

"People that I didn't even know, that was the awesome part," Kiesling said.

Sheltered Reality just performed in Hallsville last Friday, and its next appearance is scheduled for Oct. 30 in Imperial. Kiesling said the big one coming up is the group's next California show, though. They'll be appearing at 7 p.m. Nov. 5 in the elementary school gym, in a performance that is open to the public.

Progress with the group has been going really well, Kiesling said. She said Sheltered Reality founder Steve Schlosser works with 41 different sites across the midwest and gives the OK for sites to perform at least once monthly at other schools once they have enough experience, and Kiesling said California's group has finally crossed that threshold.

Kiesling said the group is always accepting members. Sheltered Reality is open for anyone to join, at any age or skill level.

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