Footwear Firms Give Back

Capital Rewards

Stride Rite Children’s Group is helping kids get healthy.

The Lexington, Mass.-based company yesterday donated 400 pairs of sneakers to New York state schoolchildren, winners of the “Healthy Steps to Albany” challenge. Created by New York state’s first lady, Michelle Paige Paterson, the initiative aims to combat childhood obesity by encouraging kids to get active through a six-week fitness competition.

Stride Rite’s donation was facilitated by New York-based Kids In Distressed Situations, a nonprofit organization that collects new clothes, shoes, books, toys and baby gear from manufacturers and retailers and distributes them to children in need around the world.

“Stride Rite has been a longtime partner of K.I.D.S. in meeting the needs of children who lack appropriate shoes,” Janice Weinman, president of K.I.D.S., said in a statement. “In 2008 alone, Stride Rite donated 40,000 pairs of shoes to our national network of community agencies.”

Pam Salkovitz, president of Stride Rite Children’s Group, said that creating footwear to support and enhance kids’ active lifestyles is a key part of the company’s mission. “We believe in providing children with great-fitting, quality footwear that supplies the proper support they need for their everyday activities,” Salkovitz said.

In honor of her work to improve children’s health, the first lady will be honored at K.I.D.S.’ annual Women in Industry luncheon on June 2 in New York. Ugg Australia President Connie Rishwain also will be recognized.

100 & Beyond

Eneslow, the New York-based comfort shoe store, is celebrating 100 years and giving back to mark the milestone.

In addition to a private party at its Park Avenue store on June 11, the retailer also is supporting Soles4Souls with a shoe collection box at every Eneslow location and will host the Soles4Souls collection van at the Park Avenue store all day on June 11. (The company is currently celebrating the opening of a third location, on Second Avenue in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.)

“For 100 years, Eneslow has been asking, ‘Why suffer?’” Robert Schwartz, president and CEO of Eneslow Pedorthic Enterprises Inc., said in a statement. “Now we look forward to asking for the next 100.”

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