The Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk continued the Skechers Foundation’s 11-year tradition of record-breaking donations for kids — raising more than $2.2 million for children with special needs and education at Sunday’s event, and more than $13 million in total since its start.
Supported by lead presenter Nickelodeon, media sponsor NBC4 Southern California, airline sponsor Turkish Airlines and generous businesses, the event launched its second decade with a special performance by this season’s America’s Got Talent winner, global superstar Kodi Lee; returning sports legends Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Lasorda; and more than 17,000 registered walkers.
“Heck yeah, Skechers Pier to Pier Walk… it feels so awesome to be a superstar… I love it when they chanted Kodi!” exclaimed Kodi Lee at the Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk.
Added mother Tina Lee: “Kodi’s win at America’s Got Talent wasn’t just a victory for him, the whole world won—it was also a win for every person who looked past his blindness and autism and saw the true talent that he is. It’s an honor for him to be at the Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk, because this event really uplifts, normalizes and embraces our children. It celebrates them for who they really are—not just as people with special needs, but as incredible individuals who can have a lasting impact.”
“Kodi’s an amazing global icon and role model for each and every one of us,” said Michael Greenberg, co-founder of the Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk. “He’s helped change the world this year for the better in such a seismic way—and every child in our community has that same potential, thanks in part to the more than $2.2 million that this Walk has raised. From the Friendship Foundation’s programs, classes and dozens of regional school clubs, to our college scholarships and the new classes, facilities and technology we’re bringing to our schools, our Walk is transforming thousands of lives with every step.”
Since 2009, the Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk has raised more than $13 million for The Friendship Foundation, public schools and scholarship funds for exceptional students. The Friendship Foundation assists children with special needs and their families through one-on-one peer mentoring and social recreational activities such as summer camps, outings to sporting events and classes that include music, yoga, cooking, art and drama. The event also helps education foundations maintain and enhance their schools in areas like technology, music, and science, from reducing class sizes and updating labs, libraries and facilities to protecting teachers’ jobs. The Skechers Foundation’s national scholarship program awards $100,000 annually to students who have financial need and proven excellence in academics, athletics and leadership.
Celebrity attendees at this year’s Walk included fitness guru Denise Austin; NBC4 investigative reporter and opening program emcee Lolita Lopez; and the casts of Brat’s Chicken Girls; Nickelodeon’s Knight Squad and All That reboot; as well as numerous YouTubers, Nickelodeon and Disney network stars. Fans celebrated SpongeBob’s 20th anniversary with SpongeBob, Patrick and Friends and enjoyed performances by World of Dance star Ayden Nguyen, Malea Emma, and Disney Channel’s favorite rapper, Issac Ryan Brown. New attractions included a business class ticket sweepstakes event sponsored by Turkish Airlines, and a pet adoption center sponsored by the Petco Foundation and Los Angeles County animal shelters.
The Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk thanks its headlining sponsor Nickelodeon, media sponsor NBC4 and new airline sponsor Turkish Airlines, along with all of its generous sponsors, including: United Legwear & Apparel, McCarthy Construction, KCI General Contractors, Moose Toys, Kinecta Federal Credit Union, Petco Foundation, Steel Sports, The CET Foundation, Vertra, Ross Stores, Chevron, DreamWorks, Dakine, Aptos Retail, Continental Development, Mattel, Marshalls, OLIPOP, LA Kings, WSS and more than 100 other companies who have supported our children.
Photo courtesy Skechers