Donations Help America’s Tallest Man Get New Shoes

ROCHESTER, Minn. (WCCO) — Just days after WCCO aired a story about the predicament America’s tallest man faces, the Rochester, Minn. resident has seen an outpouring of generosity.

Igor Vovkivinskiy is 7 feet, 8 inches tall, and has had 15 foot surgeries in the last three years. The residual pain from those surgeries makes it difficult for him to stay on his feet at times, so he moves around the house in a motorized wheelchair.

Vovkivinskiy told WCCO’s Holly Wagner a pair of shoes with proper support would change his life, would help him lose weight he gained during bed rest and gain back the muscle he lost.

Vovkivinskiy, who came to the U.S. from the Ukraine when he was a child, needs size 26 shoes. When he contacted Reebok, they told him it would cost $15,000 to have shoes specially made for him, money not in the budget for this college student.

With the encouragement of his friends, he started a web page and started collecting donations. Since WCCO’s story aired on Monday, he now has over $25,000 in donations and counting.

Igor posted this message: “Thank you so much kind people of Minnesota! Thank you people for your kindness, generosity, outpouring of support.”

Watch the original story below:

Comments

One Comment

  1. Nancy Aleshire says:

    Now maybe Igor can use some of the remaining money to buy himself some clothes. That is tough, as well. I don’t know whether the big and tall men’s stores carry clothes for men that tall. Mens clothes manufacturers are well behind those who make clothes for women. For example there are no places to go if you are a shorter man. Both my sons were 5’3″. There are petite sizes for women and for full figured ones. Good luck, Igor–you’re a nice guy.

    1. Truth is tough says:

      Everything is custom …. and dang expensive. They really do call it Capitalism for a reason. I sometimes just call it gouging😦

      1. Justsomeguy says:

        Custom is an extremely expensive process.

        1. Kelroy says:

          Bull…..*! It’s about GREED. I am a US Manufacturer and I know that material is inexpensive. It’s the hourly wage that ups the price. It’s all about GREED. God forbid some shoe maker couldn’t set aside time to build these shoes for material cost only. No wages. This fella needs to go to a different shoe cobbler and tell REEBOK “No Thanks!”

          1. Reality says:

            Umm… why? I don’t think many Mother Theresea’s go into to the shoe-making business. Although it would be good publicity for whoever did do that – but then again that is also GREED.

  2. Dale says:

    The cost comes from having a 1000 or so kids in Rebok’s sweatshop to stop making other shoes to get these done. Have to pay for lost production.

  3. thesuperman says:

    Dale,

    Only 3 people would be needed to make a pair of size 26 shoes. It is not that hard to cut raw materials and hand make some shoes.

    1. Truth is tough says:

      My MIL wears some type of orthopedic shoes, but they are not “special made” to fit non-standard feet, They set her back better than $1200 a pair. Robbery IMO for a show that was standard size and production type shoe but that’s what they cost her
      I am not sure why Reebok hit this $15K number – but for a custom fit and special ortho shoe where both were hand crafted it may be the rate…with a profit. To date we have not seen a shoe company step up and say ” We will “so that may be the rate if anyone even desires to at all.
      Come on Red Wing….. you can almost walk over to do a fit. Charge him market rate even with small profit – the goodwill will be enormous and heck, I will even buy a couple more pairs of boots tomorrow. Bet many others would too – GOODWILL factor is huge

      1. Justsomeguy says:

        It is surprising to see so many people who don’t realize everything that would go into a custom shoe. Or custom anything for that matter. I am a mechanical engineer for a industrial equipment company and I am in charge of custom projects. Trust me it is insane to do things in a quantity of 1. Which we never do. It is always 2 minimum. The first prototype costs say 10 thousand, to make the order quantity 2 only adds %10 usually. Not to mention a system in full production mode may cost $500 for our company to produce but that same unit as a custom one off machine would cost us at least 10k.

        1. Kelroy says:

          Wrong…you are adding in the hourly wage (the greedy part) I am a manufacturing company and it comes down to material cost only. Mechanically engineering a SHOE is quite different from manufacturing industrial equipment.
          What do ya need, some rubber, some canvas, some thread, some shoestrings, some leather???? What more do you need?

          1. Crazy says:

            lmao – Dude you have no concept of what is invloved. We are talking a custom fit ortho shoe that allows him to walk…without pain … without further damage to a foot.
            You and I could maybe grab and skin a deer, make him a set of mocs for what – a Ben if we work cheap?

            No surprise at the expense and order another 4 and the total be not much more than for the one pair alone. That won’t help him out much if you listen to video … sounds like more changes ahead.
            What you need is someone who will forgo profit – then maybe 75% of the figure used. I don’t see any takers lined up now, do you?

          2. Boo says:

            Reebok makes “molded” shoes and they are not handcrafted as you state. If they don’t have the rubber molds then making a custom pair probably do cost that much.

        2. GrandmaJ says:

          I grew up where we had the town cobbler who could make the shoes as well as repair. It is no different than making your own saddle for the horse. Same amount of leather. Sans the personal wage, the shoes should not be that expensive. Cowhide, etc. My now cobbler has retired at age 90+. Our leather repair/cobbler here recently died of cancer. Have not located another leather crafter yet.
          It is an art, but it not exclusive a manufacturing issue. How do you thing those of us who sew do it? Only when you do a wedding dress might you template/prototype it. Heck, I wing designs for my kids and grandchildren all the time. People did not start wearing shoes in the 20th century! Check history books, look at the photos. Someone made those shoes. With technology today, by the goodwill of the people, this should not be an issue.
          My 50 year old machines sew leather, but not the heavy stuff for shoes.

          1. Crazy says:

            We have Arabs. We had 2 custom English saddles made 4 years back.
            $3500 and $3750

            Saddles – loose non-ortho saddles there Grams
            nuff said

      2. GrandmaJ says:

        Like politics, everyone takes their cut–from the top to the bottom. Yet it is the bottom line person who does the work.

      3. Lolly Hill says:

        I think Reebok came up with $15k as their “go away” number. They figured he’d go away and stop bothering them. It would have been a great opportunity to do some PR but they chose to be arrogant instead. Oh, did I say arrogant? I meant to say corporate, sorry.

  4. Mr.Yes says:

    US and Media. Start to get to know your neighbor more and don’t wait the media to tell you that your neighbor doesn’t have a shoe.

  5. Holly is hot says:

    If not for Holly, he’d be still in those read-tad shoes!. Thanks Holly for getting the word out.

    1. A Great Couple says:

      If Holly wasn’t married, they would be a great couple (Igor & Holly). She needs to do a follow-up where she brings the shoes to him. Seeing Igor Vovkivinskiy smile because of Holly’s work would make my day. This has a making of a future movie.

      1. Crazy says:

        LOL
        ever hear of divorce ?
        And get away — she’s mine.
        Holly – Marry me please! 😉
        Nice story and great job…you done good girl.

  6. ummcradiation says:

    Congrats Holly on a great story- saw it on CNN!

  7. funksoul6 says:

    Seems like some enterprising NBA or NFL team ought to step up and get this guy any corrective surgeries or footwear that he needs and then sign him up. Can you imagine trying to block him?

  8. Diego Roswell says:

    The take away from this story is that the government is not involved or needed in cases of special needs. The American people are the most generous and charitable in the world. Read this story to your progressive (big government worshipping) friends.

    1. Mel says:

      yeah, people should be reduced to begging for corrective shoes before help comes their way. you’re probably the same person that is annoyed with a beggar on the street asking for spare change? But why? They’re not running to the government for a handout, just their caring friendly neighbors who I am sure are more than welcome to open their homes and feed them a meal and help them kick their drug habit and council them and help them find a job.

    2. Orrest says:

      It took him how many years to get shoes? 15 surgeries in 3 years because of no good shoes, so over three years. FEMA has a better track record than that.

  9. Justsomeguy says:

    Simple it is “custom” which especially for a company like Reebok which likely has dedicated custom shoe designers who day to day design for athletes and are probably very expensive employees. Seeing as that is their typical custom customer it raises costs. Then you have to think about the custom process. Entirely designing a shoe which will sell one or two pairs and manufacturing that shoe without a production line. He would probably benefit a bit by asking NBA players if he can use their design. Or even getting their used shoes. I am 6’8″ and wear size 17. I have a friend who was a ball boy for the Nuggets. He would give me free shoes that the players left in the locker room for employees to take. Since small sizes were a rarity in this case, I benefited. Apparently most players wear the shoes for one or two games and then get a new pair. This could be a possibility as well for him. Although not too many basketball players match his height even.

  10. David S. says:

    Awesome that DrudgeReport ran this story. Since it posted on that site Igors contributions went through the roof. It is great to see that the American people are willing to help each other out when there is a need. Thanks to you CBS Minnesota for reporting this!

  11. rad says:

    He should talk to shaq the basketball player I think he wears 24s

  12. Kjirsten says:

    Thank you WCCO for making a difference for this nice college student. It was a great story and all the more interesting by choosing your smallest reporter to cover the story.

    I am so proud of our neighbors generosity and Minnesota Nice! Come on Red Wing Shoes lets get this man some ankle supported boots!

  13. A Friend in MN says:

    Come on Redwing Shoe Company show your Minnesota pride. Donate some shoes for this guy.

  14. tech says:

    These shoe companies are pathetic…. They pay athletes millions to endorse shoes yet they can’t help out a poor guy who clearly has unique needs.

    1. See BS says:

      I’d really like to see science people figure out how to help stabalize his feet and help him walk.

      You are absolutely right — they pay out millions for “advertisement” and can’t find a way to help out someone who has unique needs.

      Human Universal Load Carrier, or HULC, is an un-tethered, hydraulic-powered anthropomorphic exoskeleton developed by Professor H. Kazerooni[1][2] and his team at Ekso Bionics. It is intended to help soldiers in combat carry a load of up to 200 pounds at a top speed of 10 miles per hour for extended periods of time. After being under development at Berkeley Robotics and Human Engineering Laboratory since 2000,[3] the system was announced publicly at the AUSA Winter Symposium on February 26, 2009 when an exclusive licensing agreement was reached with Lockheed Martin.[4]

      1. old Nurse says:

        @ BS You one again are clueless. It is a medical condition that is the root of his problems. As Mayo is studying him there would be a reasonable assumption that he has connective tissue issues that science is not going to be able to fix.

        1. See BS says:

          No — I’m talking about special shoes to help him walk. I have expensive shoes to help with foot pain.

          Perhaps this man needs a special boot to support his ankles and arches to help him walk easier. Think about Forrest Gump in his leg braces — only with modern technology.

          Youtube search “Hulc” and watch the small demonstration of “hulc” — this man is probably at risk for “Bedbound obesity” — so why not help him in the long run to avoid this potential condition?

          1. Old nurse says:

            The story said he was living in Rochester to be followed at Mayo due to his medical condition. So BS is smarter than the doctors at Mayo. If prostetic devices would have helped him out Mayo would have already done that. If some medical device were to have worked there would be payment for that. Mayo would have done that. They do no do shoes.

  15. Multivet says:

    I think if a cottage industry approach was made to this shoes could be produced for a tiny fraction of the projected cost. I would have a podiatrist make orthotics and a leather worker the uppers, soles and heels. The feet would be wrapped in cloth, then duct tape over the cloth then the duct tape/cloth cut off and used for patterns for the uppers.

  16. mike says:

    what amazes me is the gall of Reebok to tell this man we can make you a pair of shoes but its going to cost 15K, you would think Reebok has made enough money making their product in china, viet Nam or anywhere else but AMERICA…. I will never buy another pair of Reeboks…. I think rebok makes the shoes for free to the athletes who wear them…

    1. Uncle Rico says:

      If you are not going to buy Reeboks then do not buy Addidas, they own Reebok.

    2. Old Nurse says:

      Rather than “think” and post something that may not be true try doing research. Most athletes have contracts for wearing the company products because people watch athletes. It is called advertising.

  17. Mikesarasota says:

    Gee how many thug basketball players get free shoes???

    Classy move Reebok

  18. alan says:

    I just came up with a great idea. The guy can get a job in an apple orchard picking the high ones. Hey, its a job, lots of fresh air and some nice exercise.

  19. holly says:

    I have been trying to get this confirmed from Reebok, but I’m told by other shoemakers it’s because they have to do individual scans of his feet, and then create molds for each one which is very expensive – and then create the shoe. We are expecting an official response from Reebok next week. Good question.

    1. john doe says:

      This is not very expensive!!! Cast the foot and make a mold and go from there. they may have to hand sew but 15 thousand dollars is a joke and rip off.

  20. Sylvia A Thompson says:

    Hello WCCO and Hello Mr.Vovkivinskiy. My name is Sylvia, my shop specializes in custom shoes and custom orthotics. I’m a Certified Pedorthist, a Certified Foot Nurse, a Diabetes Educator, I’m running a nationally accredited foot/footwear clinic. Our shoes are available in 1000’s of combinations from Kangaroo to snakeskin and everything in between and all made to your own feet in almost any imaginable color or trim. With these choices, I can’t imagine why special feet would need 15,000.00 cookie cutter shoes. Give me a call, (360) 582-3736 I would be happy to work with you. Sylvia A Thompson, RN,CFCN,CPED,DE – Owner/Founder The Well-Foot Clinic.

    1. krkyoldhag says:

      your post is so great…a little company that can out do the China factories of Reebok..good for you.

      I am a seamstress and if he send me his measurements I would custom make him clothing from any pictures he sends me.

  21. sanj says:

    Rebook is ripping him off. If he really needs shoes,he can go to the India, to any of the Chinese Shoe Makers in New Delhi, or Calcutta, and more than likely have 10 – 15 pairs custom made to fit his feet in any design he desires.
    In New Delhi some of the Chinese Shoe Makers are located in Khan Market.

    1. Judy says:

      Instead of blaming the shoe manufacturers, here we have TWo people offering their services locally. This is the answer he is looking for. Custom made over sized clothing is expensive as are shoes for oversized feet. THANK YOU to ALL that have donated to this young mans needs.

  22. BigFoot one says:

    Fact is that sneakers and the like are made of materials which will be unlikely to standup to much use if the foot is above about a size 17 or 18. Probably best to have a pair of real shoes made for him that will last awhile. Suggest RedWing or White brand shoes as their product really hold up and are will know for supporting hard working feet in tough environments (such as firemen, dock workers, etc.)

  23. Mart says:

    It has to do with time, material, skill and craftsmanship. There are many step (no pun intended) to making shoes. Initial diagnosis of pressure points and anomalies (an 8ft man must exert huge pressures on the material) . Making a form or plaster cast of the feet so you make a proper fitting shoe. Material used will alter the cost dramatically, longevity and usefulness of the end product. Finally, you need skilled craftsman to actually make them. I have had to have custom shoes made for over 40 years due to injuries. It is harder and harder to find a true cobbler. The craft is a dying art and the time needed to go from form to finished product on an individual basis is no longer cost friendly. My last pair of shoes (generally size 10) cost me over $700.

  24. Crazy says:

    I believe you about as much as your neighbor who says you claim you keep Elvis locked up in the bedroom…….whats that about anyway? bedroom?

    1. From Roch says:

      Fine by me…Believe what you want…Come to Roch once and see how you get treated if you ran into him

  25. GrandmaJ says:

    I guess that would be like someone always walking up to you and asking how come you are stupid, or ugly or walk with a limp, etc. Same with some friends who are little people. Same stupid people who think they should have answers given graciously.
    When people are rude, crude and entitled–where you do draw the line? How about Hi, how are you today? Etc. Treated like a person, not an object for redicule.
    Call me the sister of special needs brother–yeah, sometimes the kids making fun DID get their time in the snow bank too.

  26. Crazy says:

    truly one ignoant sob U Liar is

    and where did politics enter into this equation? They don’t but I guess using your logic (bs I mean) he’d be getting them free or low co-pmt. The capitalism in America would be the reason for higher costs.
    Nice try junior … now have mamma change the diaper you got on. It reeks

  27. sarah says:

    The cost is in the scans and molds need for his deformed feet. At his size and 16 surgergies , he definetly needs custom shoes for his deformed feet. He needs the exact scan and molds so he can get the exact support. This isnt a cookie cutter type of shoe. Once he has the scans and molds any shoe after should cost around $200.

  28. Joe says:

    We don’t have one cobbler in the entire country who can make a pair of shoes for this guy for less than $1,000?

    Seriously?

  29. Two Fists says:

    I’m pretty sure that this proves that people on a website will argue about anything.

  30. krkyoldhag says:

    This guy could fly first class to Italy, go to a cobbler (man who makes custom shoes) and get dozens of pairs and still not spend 15 K on shoes…

    1. Edie Faylor says:

      Rebook should just make him the shoes free of charge and write it offf as an advertising item. Even if they can’t do that, so what, they are wealthy enough.

  31. James Smith says:

    He should be studying “how to make shoes”

  32. krkyoldhag says:

    forgot to say …at no cost ..for the sewing project.

  33. WriteLoudly says:

    Why to go Drudge! Couldn’t have happened without your post

    1. Sarah says:

      do you mean “way to go Drudge ” ? I agree, you read his story and all the people and media outlets he had tried to reach out to , from what I see they are all the liberal media companies. It wasnt until the story hit the conservative Drudge report that money started to flow in at a drastic fast pace. I am not sure what to make of it, it kind of goes on the same lines of Biden only donating a few hundred and Obama less the 1 % of their income. Where as the reb canidate Romey gave 15% of his income. Are the conservatives more charitable ?

      1. Janet Ramsoj says:

        SARAH….FOR PETE’S SAKE…THIS IS ABOUT SHOES FOR A MAN ….WHY DO YOU PEOPLE ALWAYS HAVE TO BRING UP POLITIC’S….SHAME ON YOU…AND YES THESE ARE CAPS…MY UPCAP BUTTON IS BROKE..OK

  34. Howard Gottlieb says:

    It’s amazing how much money people can raise if they have a cause people care about.

    Howard Gottlieb
    http://www.easy-fundraising-ideas.com/

  35. christine says:

    It’s really too bad he is giving this money to Reebok to make his shoes. He should go with AMERICAN-MADE and keep all the AMERICAN MONEY that AMERICANS donated in our country.

  36. customboots says:

    A little education…the cost of the shoes is not about greed or price gouging. It’s about how much it actually costs to make a pair of shoes.

    Every shoe is built around something called a “last.” Lasts come in standard sizes like size 8 1/2. The factory that makes the lasts has machinery set up to make lasts in the most common sizes (usually from a ladies size 4 to a man’s size 12). Making a size 26 last is going to cost much more because the blocks that the lasts are made from aren’t big enough, the computer programs aren’t designed to go that big and the machinery isn’t sized to create a last that big. A real person is going to need to step in and create this special last.

    Once the last is made and purchased there’s the cost of making the shoe itself. If a company is set up to make shoes at their factory in China, and they’re using as much plastic and cheap imitation “leather” as possible, and if they’ve already purchased their lasts in the aforementioned standard sizes, they can make shoes very cheaply. BUT, throw a size 26 last into the mix and again, the costs go up. New patterns have to be created for a size 26 last and none of the factory machines that do each of the processes required to create a shoe can handle a size 26 last.

    This means that now the shoe has to be built by a person. Except…none of the people in that factory actually knows how to build a shoe, they only know how to run their own machine. So now you’re paying a real shoemaker to build this shoe, someone who uses only the highest quality materials (hint: real leather isn’t cheap) and has spent years learning this trade and investing in tools and equipment. Unlike his Chinese factory counterparts, he (or she) doesn’t work for .50 cents per day.

    In short, $15,000 for a pair of size 26 shoes sounds realistic. On the other hand, much of that cost would be for one-time charges. For instance, once the last is created and purchased it can be used for future shoes.

    Lisa (a real shoemaker)
    http://www.sorrellcustomboots.com

    1. Matt says:

      Nope. No way that would cost $15,000 to make. Give me a break. Why not just get a Segway? I agree that it costs a decent amount, but NO WHERE NEAR that price. Come on.

  37. David S. Nolan says:

    I saw size 24 or 25 shoes at Nordstoms Rack made by Nike. Also, because the wife of one ot the founders of had polio and risidual foot problems, Nordstoms has always split sizes and gone out of it’s way to work on getting correct shoes if at all possible. They might be an allie in helping with the shoe issue.

  38. Roger Rabit says:

    Tittle should read, “Big Foot Lives in Minnesota”
    I’m glad to hear he will get his new shoes.

  39. Shannon Smith says:

    Reebok and the other shoe companies should be ashamed of themselves. How dare they attempt to charge him 15k and then pay pro athletes to wear their shoes. The person who asked for a fee should be shown the door along with the PR people. What a bunch of buffoons! If I was a PR person for Reebok, I would have suggested donation of the shoes and built an ad campaign around it….”Big company with a big heart provides big shoes” At Reebok, we’ve got you covered!

  40. Kimberly says:

    Red Wing Shoes has helped out Igor in the past and posted today about their history with him and their willingness to help again: https://www.facebook.com/notes/red-wing-shoes/americas-tallest-mans-search-for-shoes/10150640765422879

  41. Deacon Dude says:

    $15,000 for shoes is ridiculous!!! Come on Reebok, you can do way better than that. In fact, how about you give him a few pair for free and use him in your advertisements as the largest shoe in the world. Everyone should email Reebok and let them know how insane they are for quoting such a price. I thought the banksters were bad.

  42. Lara says:

    $15.000 for a pair of shoes? It’s not a car!!!!! Reebok could have done a very good thing and donated a pair of shoes to this guy. Imagine only having one pair of shoes too.

  43. bubba says:

    Tall Khan in Atlanta is taller.

    www,tallkhan.com

    1. really? says:

      get ahold of Guiness!

  44. Uncle Rico says:

    Exactly, Reebok blew it. Colossal fail.

  45. Bill says:

    Nice.

    He got other people to ‘foot’ the bill for his shoes.

  46. Kellie says:

    I am blown away by the generousity from everyone in Minnesota and around the country. Holly, what a beautiful story you’ve shared.

    To everyone who said they would boycott Reebok – that’s your prerogative. However, the report said Reebok was the ONLY company to respond. Shame on the other shoe makers for ignoring this customer. They really missed a great opportunity to help someone.

    Let’s not forget about all the others who need shoes, clothes, etc.

  47. Joseph Williams says:

    This guy is a scam artists of sorts. Legitimate need for shoes, no question there, but he’s frequented numerous forums and has ended up never coming through on his promises. One forum, gunsnet.net, his username there was Igor. Anyways, he ended up telling everyone a sob story about how he was in declining health and going to die. So I set up a “Send Igor to Vegas” fund. Sort of a nice holiday to take his mind off of his health. Well, ended up he wasn’t in that bad of health.

    This is not anything new for Igor. he’s done it all over the web. Just google him. I’m sure he’ll pop up.

    1. really? says:

      Really? I typed in his name. I even typed in his name AND the word scam. Nothing dishonoring to be found.

      With the measure you use it will measured to you. Beware.

  48. Gary Bernoulli says:

    People should do a little research on ‘igor’ before sending him cash or the like.
    He’s burned a lot of people, so might check out various “gun boards” on his history.
    Gunsnet immediately comes to mind as there was a strong ‘russian’ membership, and he was one. One MN member even gave him a flight out of MN on his personal plane.

    Do research before donating any time or money.

  49. desert eagle .50 says:

    If he were black we’d have Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton down here agitating about how he was ripped off.

  50. john doe says:

    Reebok you suck. It does not take 15 thousand dollars to make a pair of shoes . I have made made custom orthotics for people and the cost is minimal for my company . we charge a 25% mark up and the customer gets a great pair of orthotics. You are ripping him off.

  51. Matt says:

    So I wrote Reebok about this story and how sad it was that they are trying to charge Igor 15K for shoes and this is the response I recieved. I hope they follow through with their promise.

    Hello Matt,

    Thank you for contacting Shop.Reebok.com customer service.

    At Reebok, it is our goal to make fitness accessible to everyone. When Igor came to us with his story, we wanted to do everything we could to assist him.

    We are currently working out the details, and look forward to providing Igor with shoes that will fit him properly. He will not be required to pay for the shoes.

    Warm Regards,
    Michael
    Shop.Reebok.com Customer Service

    http://shop.reebok.com/US/

  52. DENEIGE says:

    HE DOES NOT WANT TO EXPLOIT HIMSELF FOR A LIVING. HE HAS HIS OWN DREAMS AND JUST SOMES SHOES THAT WE ALL NEED.

  53. Chuck says:

    First, that’s not that unusual of a size–Nike gave away a bunch of shoes to the UW-Madison Basketball team, and I saw size 26’s ging for $20 a few years back surplus.

    Second, any number of small and large shoe3-makers in the US should be able to make at least 2 pair for that price–including a pair of dress shoes.

    With other clothes, cheapest is to have them made custom in Hong Kong, but they shouldn’t be super expensive even tailored here–the tailoring is not more than double and the rest is materials cost..

    As far as profiting from it for advertising or whatever…you could hardly do anything more ‘American’ than to use your natural advantages to get clothing for cheap! It won’t interfer with anything else you want to do, and as you’ve noticed, school is expensive….

  54. damien says:

    lol @ henry5596 ………..my roomate’s half-sister earned $15663 a week ago. she makes money on the computer and bought a $381200 condo. All she did was get blessed and try the clues uncovered on this website makecash30com

  55. JoAnne says:

    I contacted Red Wing Shoes and this is the reply I recieved: JoAnne,
    Red Wing Shoes is very familiar with Igor (Lander) Vovkivinskiy. We did build custom shoes on two separate occasions for him. We built the first pairs in 1999 when Igor was 16 years old. At the time he wore a size 24 EEEEE. We made 3 pairs in 3 different leathers. He returned 18 months later and we made additional pairs in a larger size to accommodate his growth. At that time Igor’s last name was Lander. We are not sure when or why he changed it to Vovkivinskiy. After we made these shoes, we never heard from Igor again until this story aired. Igor did not contact us seeking help for his current footwear needs. Upon hearing of his plight, we reached out to Igor but as of yet have not heard from him.

    Sincerely,
    Shannon Wadsworth
    1.800.733.9464

    I believe Igor is running an unfortunate scam. He could have contacted Red Wing Shoes again, instead chose to promote himself and rely on public sympathy. Given the amount of people in this country who have REAL need that is unfortunate. He apparently has a custom built house, custom built bed and was seen in one video at a tailor shop asking if they could make him a new suit and dinner jacket. I know few people who can order custom made suits and dinner jackets…especially if they are begging for money for shoes. Instead of “Buyer Beware” in this case it should read “Donor Beware”

    I want to end with saying: I did not begin my research on Igor as a naysayer…I was really curious about his life and background. Also, I did contact Red Wing Shoes on his behalf because I really thought they could help a fellow Minnesota resident with a very basic need. Unfortunately, what I found about Igor changed my perspective, I believe he is a great self-promoter who preys on the good intentions of others.

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