Less than 48 hours after the Two Ten Footwear Foundation raised $3.6 million in a single night, the charitable organization’s top executive said he is still in awe of the industry’s generous contributions, both large and small.
Neal Newman, president of Two Ten, said that with a series of life-altering hurricanes barreling across the U.S. and Puerto Rico this year, the need for donations has never been stronger.
But Newman was particularly inspired by the efforts of the night’s co-hosts, father-son duo Bob and Seth Campbell of BBC International.
The elder Campbell, a longtime Two Ten contributor and board member, told the packed room that despite recently losing his right leg after several unsuccessful surgeries, he still felt “incredibly lucky.”
“A lesser man would have crawled into a hole and disappeared,” said Newman. “Not Bobby. He was on stage showing everybody what he is made of.”
Heading into the event, held Nov. 29 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, Newman said Campbell had already pledged $200,000. Yet when he was on stage, alongside his son and Titan Industries’ Joe Ouaknine, Campbell urged the audience to give more with an additional $25,000 pledge.
That challenge prompted Michael Greenberg and Skechers to donate $92,000, covering the gap-to-goal difference. In addition, Steve Madden wrote a check for $250,000.
But it wasn’t just the show of support from large donors that Newman said capped the night.
“There continues to be this groundswell of people getting involved and engaged,” he said. “These heroes that are making the small donations, giving back to the industry, the people not always in the spotlight, has helped tremendously. There are thousands of volunteers and donors that have this great moral code for the common code.”
In addition to the Campbells, three other industry executives helped spearhead fundraising this year: Ouaknine, Katie Butler and Joel Oblonsky.