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SKECHERS Friendship Walk Raises $1.4 Million

Oct 26, 2015 09:11AM ● Published by Jeanne Fratello

Gallery: Skechers Friendship Walk [18 Images] Click any image to expand.

Ten thousand people lined the streets of downtown Manhattan Beach on Sunday for the 7th annual SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk, a fundraising walk that brought in $1.4 million for local schools and children with special needs.

"We're here for a great cause," SKECHERS President Michael Greenberg told the assembled crowd. "We're here for the schools and we're here to keep class sizes small. We love our teachers, and we love our volunteers."

Proceeds from the walk go to local education foundations and also to the Friendship Circle, which provides ongoing programming for children with special needs.

Greenberg noted that the walk began as a "dream" and has since grown to what is being called the largest fundraiser in California. "Collectively, over seven years, we have raised $5.5 million."

The walk featured a large number of celebrities, including Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Lasorda, Denise Austin, and Brooke Burke-Charvet.

"What makes this country the greatest country in the world are the people right here - people who go out of their way to help others," said Lasorda.

Teams of walkers identified themselves with large signs, mascots, and matching t-shirts to represent their schools and education foundations.

As walkers proceeded from the Manhattan Beach Pier to the Hermosa Beach Pier and back, they were serenaded and cheered on by local school bands and cheerleaders.

At the finish line, cheerleaders continuously unspooled a roll of crepe paper so that each walker would have a chance to "break the ribbon" at the finish line.

Following the race, walkers had a chance to visit booths from sponsors and meet representatives from local sports teams including the L.A. Kings, the L.A. Clippers, and the L.A. Galaxy.

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