Originally posted at 9:39 a.m. March 4, 2014. Edited to add a photo.
The Skechers Foundation presented its largest donation totals in the history of the Pier to Pier Friendship Walk: $318,000 for The Friendship Circle – a non-profit organization that assists children with special needs and their families – and $492,000 dedicated to six education foundations.
Yossi Mintz, executive director of The Friendship Circle, accepted a check on Thursday on behalf of the organization, and education foundation leaders and superintendents were also in attendance to receive donations for the school districts of Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, El Segundo, Torrance and Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Donation funds from the Skechers Foundation have helped expand The Friendship Circle’s current programs, including Camp Got Friends – a two-week summer retreat which serves 90 children with special needs, said Yossi Mintz of The Friendship Circle in a press release.
“We have nearly doubled our monthly programs and will be able to increase sports and after-school enrichment activities through our 30 clubs for The Friendship Circle members,” he said.
According to Skechers, its Pier to Pier Friendship Walk has become California’s largest charity event supporting children with special needs and education. Since 2009, the walk has raised nearly $3 million to support The Friendship Circle and education foundations committed to saving teachers’ jobs, retaining vital academic programs, maintaining smaller class sizes, improving libraries and upgrading school technology.
Many South Bay businesses who sponsored the walk such as Body Glove, Wells Fargo, Shade Hotel, Siltanen & Partners and Continental Development also attended the ceremony.
“I am taken aback by the amount of support we have received from presenting sponsor Nickelodeon and dozens of national corporations including Steel Partners, Wells Fargo, Chevron and many more,” said Skechers president Michael Greenberg in a press release.
“Because of them, the help of celebrity supporters Jimmy Kimmel, Brooke Burke-Charvet and Tommy Lasorda, plus over 10,000 walkers, we were able to surpass our fundraising goal for the fifth consecutive year.
“It’s amazing to have raised $1 million and make such a sizable donation to both The Friendship Circle and education.”