NEW YORK — Two Ten Footwear Foundation is getting creative in the challenging economy.
Facing a huge increase in requests for financial assistance, the industry’s main charity organization is moving forward with several new events in a bid to keep the coffers filled in a difficult year.
“The heaviest months, [December and January], showed a 300 percent increase in calls for assistance from the previous year,” said Two Ten President Peggy Kim Meill, citing an uptick in layoffs and unemployment over the last few months.
To start, the group has teamed up with Nine West for this year’s New York golf tournament at Leewood Golf Club in Eastchester, N.Y., on May 11.
“By stepping up to the plate to sponsor the New York golf outing, we are hoping other companies and individuals will follow our lead and offer their support,” Andy Cohen, CEO of footwear, accessories and retail at Jones Apparel Group (parent of Nine West), said in a release. “Two Ten is unique to the footwear industry, and we ‘shoe people’ are lucky to have the support of a foundation that is so important to people going through tough times.”
The organization also is collaborating with athletic footwear brand Avia and the Orange County Marathon to form Two Ten’s first athletic team, called “Run 210.” The marathon will donate a total of 20 race numbers that will be available for purchase on the Two Ten Website. The event will be held in Southern California on May 3.
“This is something I wanted Two Ten to do since I came here,” Meill said. “Running is such an important sport for our industry, particularly to athletic shoe companies, and we are so happy to be able to offer numbers to such a prestigious race.”
Another event Two Ten will spearhead is Deer Stags’ “Young Professionals for Two Ten” fundraiser, which honors Zappos.com’s ongoing commitment to the charity. The goal of the cocktail party, to be held on June 11 in New York City, is to raise awareness of Two Ten.
Finally, branding company MDG is donating its time and resources to create a commemorative coffee table book marking Two Ten’s 70th anniversary. The book, which will be distributed in December, will include a history of the charity and interviews with people in the industry.
“Without MDG’s generosity, Two Ten would not have the resources to create what will be a lasting marker of this incredibly important milestone, our 70th anniversary,” said Ross Evans, VP of marketing and community initiatives for Two Ten.