Brooke Burke-Charvet and SKECHERS president Michael Greenberg at the fourth annual SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk. (Photo: Business Wire)
The SKECHERS Foundation today announced that more than $750,000 was raised for children with special needs and education through Sunday’s Pier to Pier Friendship Walk. The 2012 donations were significantly higher than last year’s total of $580,000 thank to the record number of walkers, more than 8,500 people, and the many donations by local and national businesses, including presenting sponsor Nickelodeon.
“Four years ago when the SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk began we had 2,200 people come out; now we’ve surpassed 8,500 walkers in 2012, which is a testament to the compassion and dedication of our community,” said SKECHERS president Michael Greenberg. “The $750,000 we raised through this year’s walk will help many children with special needs continue to thrive through the Friendship Circle programs; it’s inspiring to see what a big impact small gestures can make. Many education foundations that are in dire need of funding will also benefit from the money we’ve raised through this year’s walk.”
The 3.4 mile walk from the Manhattan Beach Pier to the Hermosa Beach Pier and back was hosted by fitness expert Denise Austin, who rallied the crowd before the walk. Legendary Hall of Fame baseball manager Tommy Lasorda also spoke about the importance of giving back to make a positive impact in the community, and Dancing with the Stars co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet congratulated SKECHERS and all the walkers for making a difference to help children with special needs and for supporting education foundations.
SKECHERS Foundation, a SKECHERS organization designed to support families and communities in need, announced that it partnered with Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda to host a day at Dodger Stadium on August 1 for members of the Friendship Circle, an organization dedicated to nurturing and inspiring the special needs community. The event included 100 children with special needs and their families, and five children with special needs were given the opportunity to join Lasorda down on the field with the current Dodger players before the first pitch.
The Dodgers event launched a community-wide campaign for fourth annual SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk – a Nickelodeon-sponsored Southern California event that raises funds for The Friendship Circle and education. Lasorda has co-hosted the Walk since its launch in 2009 and will co-host the 2012 Walk on October 28.
“The Friendship Circle has a special place in my heart. These kids give such joy and love, they can people’s lives. I know they’ve changed mine,” said Lasorda. “I’m so excited to take them to the place I love – and I can’t wait to be part of our next walk. The Pier to Pier Friendship Walk makes such a big difference for these kids every year, and for education too. I’d love for everyone at our games to join us and walk for our kids!”
“Going to a baseball game was one of my favorite memories as a kid – and there’s nothing like doing it with Tommy himself!” added Michael Greenberg, president of SKECHERS. “This is a day that these kids will cherish for the rest of their lives – and I’m so grateful to Tommy for helping us make this a reality, as well as all the years he’s hosted the Walk. It’s such a great way to tell baseball fans and our community about this event.”
An extension of the SKECHERS Foundation, the SKECHERS Pier to Pier Walk gathers donations for Friendship Circle projects such as teen mentorships, support groups and programs for children with special needs and their families, as well as equipment, salaries, and supporting materials for compromised schools. For more information about the SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk and the SKECHERS Foundation, please visit http://www.skechersfriendshipwalk.com