It’s been eight years since our Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk started in Manhattan Beach – and we’re so grateful that every year of the walk to date has brought record-breaking donations for children with special needs and schools. This past Sunday, we had our largest attendance yet – 12,000 people – all walking to raise more than $1.6 million for kids.
They joined all kinds of celebrities – Brooke Burke-Charvet, Sugar Ray Leonard, Camila Alves, Ian Ziering, Denise and Katie Austin, and Tommy Lasorda; a squad of teen TV and movie stars; and Walk performers Asia Monet Ray, Jordyn Jones, New District and Aidan Prince. Sponsors backing the Walk included lead sponsors Nickelodeon and NBC4 Southern California, and national and local companies from every industry: retail, finance, technology, fitness, foundations and more.
When we look back at our very first Walk, we’re astounded by how it’s grown from a passionate community event into the nation’s largest for kids with special needs and education. In spite of its growth, we’re thrilled to see that it remains the same: the focus continues to be on our kids, and how we can achieve amazing things together to help them thrive.
The Friendship Foundation has been a huge gift for children with special needs and their families, and this year’s funds will continue to support their efforts with programs, peer mentoring, sporting events, and field trips. Education foundations will also be able to improve our schools by retaining teachers and programs, making classes smaller and upgrading facilities and technology. And we continue to provide scholarships to deserving children – $100,000 will be given in 2017. All this is because so many have given so much (an incredible $7 million over the years).
A huge thanks to everyone who participated this year – and to all of you, who have joined more than 4 million viewers engaged with our cause online. In addition to Nickelodeon and NBC4 Southern California, a grateful shout out to Wells Fargo, Steel Sports, The Claudette and Ethan Rickett Care Foundation, Ross, Zappos.com, Vertra, WSS, United Legwear & Underwear Co., Mattel, Body Glove, Premier Displays & Exhibits, Kids Foot Locker, JAKKS Pacific, Marshalls, Cushman & Wakefield, Caskey & Caskey, Siltanen & Partners Advertising, Continental Development, Northrop Grumman, Equinox, Chevron, and so many others who have provided funds and support to provide a better future for children.