Stoked Mentoring Founder Steve Larosiliere On #GivingTuesday Project

In the spirit of giving this upcoming holiday season, the crew at Stoked Mentoring was looking for one more way to make a difference and stumbled across an idea they could all agree made complete sense—kicking off the organization’s annual fundraising campaign during a time when retailers and e-commerce hubs are gearing up for America’s busiest four weeks of shopping.

Steve Larosillere, Stoked’s founder, has aligned the organization with “#Giving Tuesday— a movement that encourages charities, families, businesses, and individuals to come together and transform the way people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season on a national day dedicated to non profits after Cyber Monday. The movement’s founding partners include the national organizations United Nations Foundation, Unilever, and Do Something, as well as local New York non-profit 92nd Street And Y. To commemorate Stoked’s involvement, the organization will hold its annual Stoked Awards on Giving Tuesday, November 27, from 7-9 p.m. at the Greene Space in New York City. This year’s ceremony, besides promoting a day to give back to those less fortunate, will honor actress and action sports enthusiast Joy Bryant, and will be held in conjunction with an online auction designed to raise funds for after school and action sports youth mentoring programs.

We caught up with Larosillere to learn more about this year’s event and how the action sports community can get involved in #GivingTuesday.

Steve Larosillere, Stoked Founder

Steve Larosillere, Stoked Founder

How did Stoked get involved with Giving Tuesday, and what’s the whole philosophy behind this project?

We normally do the Awards in the first week of the November. We decided to change our Stoked Awards (www.stoked.org/stokedawards) to later in the month on November 27 because quite frankly we wanted to steer clear of anything regarding the election season. The fall is typically a high fundraising season for non profits and when we found out about Giving Tuesday we thought it would be great to align ourselves with it. Giving Tuesday’s philosophy is that since retailers have Black Friday, and online e-tailers have Cyber Monday, the non profit/charity community should have Giving Tuesday. We are using it as an opportunity to kick off our end of the year fundraising campaign and have our partners and supporters give back to us in the form of commitments on November 27.

How can the action sports industry get involved?

If folks are in NYC, they can attend our Stoked Awards on November 27. If not, they can make a donation, in-kind, or sign up to volunteer with us on that day.

How does this concept fit into the overall philosophy behind Stoked?

Stoked would not be here if it wasn’t for community support. We’re extremely grateful for what we have accomplished, but realize we need more support if we’re going to accomplish our goals of ensuring that everyone of our participants are college or career ready when they’re done with our programs.

Will you be partnering with any specific brands and retailers to help get the word out and organize events for this project? If so, which ones, and how are they involved?

We can’t mention anyone right now, but we’re talking with various brands and retailers about donating a portion of store sales, to volunteer hours, to matching grants, provide internships for our youth, and in-kind / product support. They will all be announced on November 27.

Anything else you’d like to add about this particular cause and the Stoked mission?

We’re relaunching our Stoked Mentoring program as a college/career ready program called Stoked for Success. This new program is a multi-year program designed to work with low income youth and uses the platform of action sports culture to get kids to be ready for the 21st century. We’re aiming for our youth to be the next generation of successful professionals who can shred. Thanks to Transworld and TransWorld Business for their years of support.