‘Below Deck’ star Captain Lee: I grew up ‘poor with holes in my shoes’

Reality TV

Captain Lee Rosbach loves giving back — especially after growing up “poor” in Michigan. 

The “Below Deck” star, 73, spoke with Page Six about his humble beginnings as he helped billionaire Patrick Carroll hand out $100,000 worth of shoes to children in need during a Wednesday “Kicks for Kids” charity event in Miami.

“As a kid growing up poor with holes in my shoes, I know the meaning that a new pair of sneakers can have for someone, whether they want to participate in sports or even just to fit in,” Rosbach said. 

“Today was so special getting to see the smiles on those kids’ faces when we handed them their new pair of sneakers.”

Carroll, 43, teamed up with footwear influencer Ben Kickz to give away 600 pairs of sought-after sneakers to members of the Boys and Girls Club of Miami-Dade. Carroll, a native of Florida, notably relied on the organization himself — and now serves on the board.

Captain Lee Rosbach
“As a kid growing up poor with holes in my shoes, I know the meaning that a new pair of sneakers can have for someone,” the “Below Deck” star told Page Six.
Laurent Bassett/Bravo

“As soon as I heard Patrick Carroll was doing this kicks for kids giveaway with the Boys and Girls Club, I knew I wanted to go down there and help him out,” added Rosbach.

The yacht captain personally delivered stylish kicks to kids from the back of a full truck with Carroll and fellow Bravolebrity Phaedra Parks.

The “Real Housewives of Atlanta” alum, 48, brought sons Ayden, 12, and Dylan, 9, to show them the importance of philanthropy. 

“It was amazing to be able to bring my boys to give back. Watching them interact with the children to make sure each child loved their shoes and got the right size made me so proud,” she told Page Six. 

“Coming to Miami with my sons to join Patrick Carroll to support the Boys and Girls Club was an amazing experience,” she elaborated. “My personal mantra has always been, ‘Success is not what you accumulate for yourself but rather what you give to others.’”

The single mom — who shares her boys with ex-husband Apollo Nida — explained that the occasion felt “very special” as her late grandmother taught reading at her local Boys and Girls Club in Athens, Ga. 

Patrick Carroll and Captain Lee Rosbach
Carroll’s event benefitted the Boys and Girls Club of Miami-Dade, an organization he relied on as a kid.
Maurice Holloway

“During summer vacation, I was her junior assistant and I loved seeing how the students progressed,” she told us. 

When announcing the event last week, Carroll — one of Miami’s most prominent real estate investors with more than 30,000 properties in his portfolio — teased that he will take his sneaker charity on the road. 

“After this first stop in Miami, I’ve decided to do the same thing in multiple cities throughout the US,” Carroll wrote via Instagram. “Which city should we go to after Miami? Thinking NYC …”

Patrick Carroll handing out shoes to kids
Carroll teased that his “Kicks for Kids” charity event will hit the road soon.
Maurice Holloway

Carroll made headlines for his over-the-top generosity last month. As Page Six exclusively reported, the entrepreneur got onstage at a starry Manhattan gala and pledged to donate $1 million to C.A.R.E. for Special Children if other attendees would match his donation collectively. 

Carroll eventually upped his contribution to $1.5 million, encouraging Leonardo DiCaprio to donate the final $50,000 that helped the room meet the amount. 

Just weeks ago, Carroll paid $2 million for a vintage car and “Top Gun Experience” at the LuisaViaRoma x Unicef gala in Capri, Italy. He outbid such attendees as DiCaprio, 47, Jared Leto and Vanessa Hudgens. 

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