Skechers is anticipating its biggest event to date with this Sunday’s Pier-to-Pier Friendship Walk, setting a lofty fundraising goal of $1 million to benefit special needs children as well as education in the South Bay.
The fifth annual charity walk boasts a celebrity-packed group of ambassadors, including comedian Jimmy Kimmel and Real Housewives of New Jersey star Jacqueline Laurita. Returning from last year are Dancing with the Stars co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet and legendary Hall of Fame baseball manager Tommy Lasorda.
“I am honored to help raise funds and awareness for children with special needs,” said Kimmel, who has a family member with Autism. “This is a fun event for a very worthy cause and I hope to say hello to everyone who participates.”
The 3.4-mile walk to Hermosa Beach pier and back will kick off with an opening ceremony at 9 a.m. at the Manhattan Beach pier.
“[The walk] began as a local event and now it’s the largest in Southern California for supporting children with special needs and education,” Skechers president Michael Greenberg said. “This year, we set our goal higher than ever, and with the help of Jimmy and our roster of celebrity ambassadors, we plan to raise one million in 2013.”
Since its inception in 2009, the Skechers Pier-to-Pier Friendship Walk has raised $1.9 million, benefiting some 60,000 children locally. The funds have been used to save teachers’ jobs, retain educational programs, maintain smaller class sizes, improve libraries, upgrade school technology as well as support The Friendship Circle, an organization that assists special needs children and their families through one-on-one peer mentoring and social recreational programming.