NEW YORK — With Two Ten Footwear Foundation’s annual dinner set for next week, the group has far surpassed last year’s $1.3 million fundraising record.
“While we at first set the goal of beating last year, our real goal was to take the event to the next level of giving and involvement,” said Matthew Rubel, chairman, president and CEO of Collective Brands Inc. and chairman of this year’s gala, which will be held at the Marriott Marquis Times Square on Dec. 1.
The final amount raised will be announced at the event.
This year, the organization — which will honor Soul of Africa founder Lance Clark and Brown Shoe Co. President and COO Diane Sullivan at the dinner — did everything bigger, with more solicitors and longer collection periods, which translated into a greater number of donors.
“It’s so affirming and positive that despite the times, we have an industry that pulls together,” said Two Ten President Peggy Kim Meill. “It’s not like it was an easy year for the industry or our economy. [Each donation] lets us touch more lives and families.”
The dinner’s theme, “Futurespective” — a follow-up to last year’s “Retrospective” — promises a forward-looking approach. And in planning the event, the organization reached out to young professionals.
“We are paving the way for tomorrow’s leaders to take things to a whole new level,” Rubel said. “Both through individual contributions and together as a community, we are building that legacy for generations to come. We don’t know what the future will hold, but we know we will have much to celebrate.”
Two Ten anticipates hosting more than 1,300 attendees at this year’s dinner.
“Our biggest challenge is [getting] enough seats for the guests at the gala event itself. But what a great problem to have,” Rubel said. “The reaction from companies and friends in the industry has been overwhelmingly positive.”