As the Sheckler Foundation gears up to hold it’s 3rd annual Skate For A Cause event this Saturday, May 5, at the etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest, the organization—headed up by Gretchen Sheckler, mother of pro skater Ryan Sheckler—is also celebrating the launch of its “Be The Change” initiative. The campaign, which will raise money to assist the A.Skate Foundation in holding skate camps for Autistic children, as well as nine other charities, is founded on a principle close to the hearts of the Sheckler’s and the foundation’s advocates: Don’t just give money to a cause, but instead be the change you want to see in the world.

“We had an ‘a-ha!’ moment  a year ago—if we can teach kids, then that message will be passed along to the parents, too,” says the foundation’s president. “We don’t want to just hand out fish, we want to teach them how to fish. This way of giving back is what changed Ryan’s life forever.”

The first step in building the “Be The Change” program will kick off this weekend at Skate For A Cause, an event that has the support from skate pros Jay Adams, Devine Calloway, Nyjah Huston, Torey Pudwill, and of course Ryan Sheckler, who will all be in attendance. CCS, Oakley, Tilly’s, Red Bull, Nixon, New Era, and Plan B are just a few of the companies helping sponsor the day’s festivities. Skate For a Cause is aiming to raise enough money and awareness to help produce a ten-stop A. Skate clinic tour.

We caught up with Gretchen Sheckler on a recent weekday at the San Clemente-based Sheckler Foundation headquarters, which is also home to Ryan’s personal skatepark. The small, close-knit staff took TransWorld Business on a tour and sat down with us to go more in-depth about what the new initiatives mean to Sheckler and the crew, and how they hope to continue making a difference in the skate community and beyond. Stay tuned for a closer look at how the Sheckler Foundation got it’s start in our July issue of TransWorld Business.

For those looking to get involved, come out and support the event tomorrow at the etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest. Here are the details:

What: Skate For a Cause

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 5, 2012

Where: etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest, California

Why: Skate For a Cause, presented by etnies, will benefit A.skate and allow fellow skateboarders, sponsors, and the skate community to have fun and give back by doing their part to help kids living with Autism and related conditions.