The Skechers Foundation has donated a record-breaking $2.5 million to children with special needs and education through funds raised at its latest Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk, an annual event that has raised close to $18 million to date for children. Supported by Presenting Sponsor Kinecta Federal Credit Union and more than 100 companies, the donations were distributed by Skechers executives to foundation donation recipients at Skechers’ store in Manhattan Beach, CA, last week.
“We are a passionate organization who thrives to support children with special needs, public education and many more important causes,” states Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers and co-founder of the Walk. “Our Friendship Walk has grown into one of the largest of its kind in the country, thanks to our presenting sponsor Kinecta Federal Credit Union and so many caring, generous individuals and corporations who stand with us to make a meaningful impact in the lives of so many. I am beyond grateful for the support of everyone involved.”
The Foundation presented $713,000 to the non-profit organization Friendship Foundation for children with special needs and their families, as well as more than $1.47 million in checks to six education foundations—contributions that help support critical staffing and educational programs such as music, foreign language, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs; distance learning support and education intervention; and counseling and mental health support.
“Our children with special needs are thriving at the Friendship Foundation, thanks to the Walk’s incredible support,” says Yossi Mintz, the organization’s co-founder. “Through donations, the event has had a direct impact—growing our clubs, events and in-person and online activities. Together with the Los Angeles region’s future Friendship Foundation campus for young adults with special needs, we’re transforming how our children will see the world and each other.”
In addition to breaking new donation records for children with special needs and public schools, the Skechers Foundation’s national scholarship program awarded more than $280,000—a new record for high school seniors. By year’s end, the organization will have donated $982,000 to talented and economically disadvantaged students to attend colleges across the country.
“As a financial institution, we understand how life-changing donations can be, especially to those in underserved communities,” says Keith Sultemeier, president and CEO of Kinecta. “This event has a direct impact on more than 50,000 students’ academic and professional futures. It’s an event that we’re incredibly proud to support, and we look forward to helping even more children this fall as the Pier to Pier Friendship Walk’s presenting sponsor for the second year in a row.”
Historically California’s largest event for children with special needs and education, the Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk has grown to gather more than 16,000 annual registrants at the Manhattan Beach Pier every October in celebration of children. Celebrity supporters over the years have included guests and emcees such as Jimmy Kimmel, Brooke Burke, Denise Austin and NBC4 investigative reporter Lolita Lopez; athletic icons Sugar Ray Leonard, Tony Romo, Howie Long, Matt Kuchar, Brooke Henderson and baseball legend Tommy Lasorda; and numerous YouTubers, Nickelodeon and Disney network stars.
The Skechers Foundation’s college scholarship program offers scholarships to high school seniors based on financial need and achievements in academics, athletics and leadership. Administered by Scholarship America, the application at www.SkechersFriendshipWalk.com will be available to all high school seniors in the United States in spring 2022.
The Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk thanks Kinecta Federal Credit Union as well as more than 100 other companies who have supported thousands of children, including The CET Foundation, McCarthy Construction, Steel Sports, Moose Toys, Ross Dress for Less, Petco Foundation, Vertra, Dakine, Bank of America, The MBS Group, KCI General Contractors, United Legwear & Apparel, Rare Beauty, Simplehuman, TJX Companies, Academy Sports, Continental Development, Chevron, Marshalls and WSS.
To learn more about the annual Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk and watch the Walk’s latest virtual event, please visit skechersfriendshipwalk.com or YouTube, and follow the Walk on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.