The Sheckler Foundation’s Fourth Annual #SkateForACause
Raises $100,000 benefitting the Port Gamble S’klallah Reservation
This past Saturday, The Sheckler Foundation held #SkateForACause, a large-scale fundraiser at the newly reconstructed Etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest. The fun booths, the bright sun, and top pro’s in attendance, made for an amazing experience for all to enjoy, with all the event donations going toward the construction of a new skate park on the Port Gamble S’klallam Reservation.
The Sheckler Foundation, founded in 2008, is fueled by the desire to contribute to the causes that directly benefit and enrich the lives of children as well as injured action sports athletes. The Sheckler Foundation produces fundraising events, passion projects, and web-based initiatives that raise capital for awareness.
“The event has gotten a lot more traction, a lot more popularity; but we’ve also been able to launch a program called “Be The Change,” in which case last year we raised over $57,000 for the A-Skate, who were able to create a 10 stop A-Skate tour for autistic children,” says Gretchen Sheckler, founder and director of the Sheckler Foundation.
This event exceeded expectations this year, with donations reaching $100,000. We spoke to Gretchen to get the scoop on the success and viability of fundraising.
They’re a lot of supporters, and contributors this year, what was the target for today’s event?
This year we’re increasing our goal to $120,000, and were going to work with our 2nd winner of the #BeTheChange initiative, where we will be able to make a skate park for the S’Klallam Tribe in Port Gamble, Washington.
Volunteers are few and far between— how do you get such a dedicated base of individuals?
We retain all of our volunteers. A lot are family, friends, and people from the industry. Most of them have volunteered six years ago for my first golf tournament, and they were all so ecstatic to really see what we were doing, and what we have been doing. Every year they mark just two dates out of the year for the Golf and Skate for a Cause events. I don’t have to worry or train people anymore; we get a few new every year; or a few that have moved away/got a job, but for the most part volunteers are recruited from within.
Has the foundation changed much since the first golf tournament?
Just our focus really. At first we were very gung ho, just wanted to go out and effectively change, and do great things; but now we focused our energy, we refined our skills, bringing on people to help us do the things we do best. We’re not trying to do it all, but we are able to get a lot more accomplished with the help some really great people.
They’re a lot of brands involved, which fully support the cause. How do you gather brands to get involved at this level?
It’s a one-on-one conversation. A lot of brands that—and even ones that don’t— sponsor Ryan [Sheckler] are here, and have been in the previous years. They really support what we are doing, or they know somebody that we’ve helped through our foundation. They see the results, and really want to show that they are behind this message as well.
Socials media has changed the landscape as far as spreading the word, did you see any impact with the foundations’ efforts? What are your thoughts on online initiatives?
A lot of people supported us through their social networks, which made a tremendous difference. I know a lot of people tried to do online initiatives, but they weren’t as phenomenal as they could’ve been. For the most part though, I think that when people have a strong network that really believes in what they’re doing, that they do make a huge change, and with us we saw our online VIP presale tickets tripled this year.
Has this happened before?
No, No, never actually. This was a first, and I am just ecstatic, and I can’t wait to see what it will bring next. Every year we have some kind of growth, some kind of change, and it’s really nice to have everyone come together to make a very visible impact.
There were countless smiles and happy faces. How do you see the future turnout of Skate for a Cause?
It’s going to double, and just to see who is here this year is unbelievable. People are coming back, and they’re really starting to get a good feel for what were trying to do here.
The Sheckler Foundation would like to extend a big thanks to all of the skateboarders, sponsors, and event goers who came out to support the cause and Be the Change by raising funds to build the skate park on the Port Gamble S’klallam Reservation