In its seventh year, the 2015 Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk surpassed its $1.2 million goal to raise more than $1.4 million. The event, which took place October 25 and is organized by the Skechers Foundation, helps children with special needs and education.
By Thomas J. Ryan
Co-sponsored by Nickelodeon and elevated by the support of sponsor events like Steel Partners’ #P2PSteelSports Selfie Challenge donation pledge, the Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk drew more than 12,000 participants, and continues to reach new attendance and donation highs annually since its 2009 launch. The 3.4-mile route begins at the Manhattan Beach Pier, traveling to the Hermosa Beach Pier and back.
“…This Walk and everything that it gives is a wonderful legacy – one we will share for years to come.” – Michael Greenberg, President, Skechers
“The wave of support that climbs year after year in honor of our kids is incredible,” said Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers. “When we started the Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk seven years ago, 1,800 of us hit the beach to raise $220,000 – and since then, our walkers have grown six-fold – with more than $5.5 million donated over the years, all dedicated to enrich and inspire our children.”
Now one of the largest events in Southern California supporting children with special needs and education, the Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk supports The Friendship Circle, an organization that assists children with special needs and their families through one-on-one peer mentoring and social recreational programming – as well as funding education foundations to retain vital academic programs, maintain smaller class sizes, improve libraries and upgrade school technology.
A number of celebrities turned out to support the Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk, including boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard, the brand’s new ambassador, in his first appearance at the event, as well as TV personality Brooke Burke-Charvet, fitness expert Denise Austin, and Hall of Fame baseball manager Tommy Lasorda, who have all made multiple appearances throughout the event’s history. Ray Leonard said, “When you say ‘kids’ to me, I’m there. This is my first, but believe me – this will not be my last.”
Added Burke-Charvet: “The Skechers family has had a vision, and it keeps growing. It is so amazing to see everyone come out. Together, we make a difference and we increase the power of community.”
“I have a deep appreciation for our volunteers, our celebs, our community, and our incredible sponsors like Nickelodeon, Steel Sports and so many amazing corporations with a conscience who come together year after year to make the world a better place for our children,” continued Greenberg.
“This event means that kids with special needs and students from kindergarten to high school are getting the care, support and nurturing they need to grow into inspired, enlightened, confident adults…”
“This event means that kids with special needs and students from kindergarten to high school are getting the care, support and nurturing they need to grow into inspired, enlightened, confident adults – and over seven years, we’re already seeing its long-term effects: from the lessons our kids have learned in classes that would have been shelved, to friendships that will last a lifetime. This Walk and everything that it gives is a wonderful legacy – one we will share for years to come.”
Beyond co-sponsor Nickelodeon, other sponsors included Wells Fargo, Steel Sports, South Bay Vein and Laser Group, The Claudette and Ethan Rickett Care Foundation, Ross, Zappos.com, Tour de Pier, DIRECTV, United Legwear & Underwear Co., Body Glove, Kids Foot Locker, United Legwear, JAKKS Pacific, Marshalls, Cushman & Wakefield, Caskey & Caskey, Siltanen & Partners Advertising, Continental Development, Northrop Grumman, Equinox and Chevron.
Photos Courtesy of William Hartman, Desert Rose Photography and Skechers