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Skechers Friendship Walk Raises Over $3 Million

Nov 02, 2023 02:22PM ● By Mb News Staff

Friendship Walk Founder and Skechers President Michael Greenberg talks with friend Jacob at Sunday's event. Photo credit: Ian Logan Photography.

The Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk celebrated its 15th anniversary event and broke new fundraising records on Sunday, raising more than $3 million for children with special needs, public education, and national scholarships. The walk has received more than $24 million in donations since its inception in 2009. 

Thousands of registrants participated in the milestone event, which was supported by presenting sponsor Kinecta Federal Credit Union and more than 100 businesses and donors. Highlights from the event included appearances from Brooke Burke, Mr. T and Amanda Kloots along with performances from Young Selena singer and America’s Got Talent golden buzzer winner Madison Taylor Baez, Team Siwa’s pop group XOMG POP! and teen group FuturePop.

(On stage left to right: Friendship Foundation member Yousef Hassan; Mr. T; Brooke Burke; Skechers Walk Founder Michael Greenberg; Amanda Kloots; Kinecta CEO Keith Sultemeier; Robin Curren, Executive Director of the Skechers Foundation; and Yossi Mintz, Founder of the Friendship Foundation. Photo credit: Ian Logan Photography)

“I am very fortunate to have a platform to do good, and to be part of an organization at Skechers and the community of the South Bay that believes in giving back. It’s been my greatest joy to make a difference through philanthropy, especially the Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk,” said Michael Greenberg, founder of the event, in a statement. “For over 15 years, I’ve seen thousands of our children form friendships, mature into young adults, realize their purpose, set out into the world—all the way knowing that we are here for them, behind them. The Walk has been such a beautiful and moving day to be part of, year after year—from seeing all the walkers to our generous celebrities and volunteers to incredible organizations like Kinecta and companies with so much heart—all here to uplift our kids. I’m deeply grateful for this experience—I know we’re helping future generations, and I encourage every community to do the same. I always say, ‘give until it hurts.’ But really, seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces, it just feels good.”

“This walk is about the power of friendship, which is actually quite profound when you think about it,” said fitness promoter and television host Brooke Burke in a statement. “Friendship is the thread that connects every human. It inspires us to make the impossible possible. And it’s the constant I’ve seen over the 12 years I’ve supported this walk. From the parents, neighbors and kids to the engaged sponsors and performers, athletes and icons who have graced this stage, everyone is here to celebrate friendship year after year.”

“This is my first time here, and what a thrill it’s been,” said actor and icon Mr. T. “Every kid has room to grow—there are no ceilings to what any person can learn and achieve. And what an amazing, special day this community has made to help them on their way. The energy and enthusiasm at this event is incredible. This walk’s going to keep celebrating for 15 more years and beyond—and I’m so happy to be part of this beautiful legacy of love for our kids.”

Walk Benefits Schools, Scholarships, New Friendship Campus

Declared as California’s largest event for children with special needs and education, the 3.5-mile Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk supports the future Friendship Campus (The Greenberg Family/ Skechers Center)—a $55 million, 3.25- acre campus that will offer a community for friendship and learning. Planned for completion by year-end 2025, the facility will include numerous vocational programs including a Creative Arts Center, Culinary Institute, Recreation
Center, Life Skills programming, and early education and mentoring opportunities, giving young adults the tools to transition to the workforce and find lifelong passion and purpose.

The campus will also be home to the new headquarters for the Friendship Foundation, which offers companionship, celebrates uniqueness and encourages acceptance for all with diverse abilities. The organization offers more than 60 in-person programs such as art, music, fitness, sign language, science, social emotional wellness and yoga, as well as pop-up programs like virtual scavenger hunts and talent shows that are free for anyone to attend locally and across the United States.

Academically, the walk supports public school education foundations—reducing class sizes,
updating labs, libraries and facilities and protecting teachers’ jobs. The Skechers Foundation’s national scholarship program also gives a portion of the walk's proceeds to students with financial need and proven excellence in academics, athletics and leadership, donating more than $1.1 million in scholarships to date.

In addition to Kinecta, other sponsors include Nickelodeon, Rare Beauty, Schwartz Family Foundation, Steel Sports, United Legwear & Apparel Co., Big 5 Sporting Goods, Petco Love, TJX Companies, Chevron, Bank of America, Ross Stores, Barco, Dakine, Vertra, LA Kings, LA Dodgers, McCarthy, LA Angels, Continental Development, WSS, Turkish Airlines, Cushman & Wakefield and others.

Skechers and the Skechers Foundation

Established in 2010 to help children in need, the Skechers Foundation is dedicated to strengthening communities to ensure the health, success and well-being of youth worldwide. The foundation invests in a global network of charitable organizations dedicated to embracing individuals with diverse abilities, improving education, empowering disadvantaged families and providing humanitarian, disaster and economic relief.

Skechers is a Fortune 500® company based in Southern California that designs, develops and markets a diverse range of lifestyle and performance footwear, apparel and accessories for men, women and children. Its collections are available in 180 countries and territories through department and specialty stores, and direct to consumers through digital stores and more than 4,900 company- and third-party-owned physical retail stores.

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