PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Albert Lexie has walked the halls of Children’s Hospital twice a week for more than 31 years.
There’s no telling how many shoes he’s shined for doctors and staff. But we do know how much he’s donated to the hospital’s free care fund: all his tips, totaling $220,000.
“It feels good when you do something for the kids, you know,” Lexie said. “You see other people on the telethon.”
Lexi says he was inspired by the late Patti Burns, who hosted the Children’s Hospital telethon on KDKA for many years. But he knew that sooner or later this day would have to come. At the age of 71, Children’s Hospital’s shoeshine man is retiring.
“Oh, I’ll just so some loafing and walking around,” he says. “And soon as summertime comes, I’ll be wanting to come back and see my buddies here.”
One of those buddies is a Children’s Hospital cardiologist who’s shoes he’s been shining for more than 20 years.
“I had to keep telling him to raise his rates because he was far too generous,” cardiologist Fred Sherman said. “He catches the bus at 5:10 a.m. in Monessen every Tuesday and Thursday, arriving at Children’s by 7:15 a.m.”
Lexie’s singing will be missed as much as his shoe shines, but not as much as the gift he gave to the kids of Children’s Hospital.
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