Two Ten Footwear Foundation, the national charitable foundation of the U.S. footwear industry, announced its annual signature event will be held on June 6, 2022 at Pier Sixty on the Hudson River in New York City.
Following three postponements due to the COVID pandemic, the industry’s longest running event will return with a freshly reimagined format and experience. Shawn Osborne, CEO and President of Two Ten said, “We are thrilled to finally be able to hold our time-honored, annual Gala and look forward to bringing the footwear industry back together for the first time in more than two years. Of course, the safety of our guests is a top priority and we’ll be taking necessary precautions.”
In addition to following CDC, New York state and New York City guidelines, Two Ten is reducing the total number of guests compared to previous years, replacing the two-event format — a seated VIP dinner followed by an industry-wide party for a total of 1,200 attendees — with a single-format, cocktails-and-hors d’oeuvres evening for 700. The large venue will allow for comfortable spacing and, barring poor weather, floor-to-ceiling doors facing the river will remain open during the event to allow a steady flow of fresh air.
An exciting casino theme will permeate throughout the venue, including gaming tables where guests can test their skills while socializing with their industry colleagues. Replete with Vegas-style décor, cocktail lounges and entertainment, the evening will be designed to safely bring together the footwear community for an engaging, interactive and social event, with brief pauses for speakers and awards.
A first-ever virtual event will combine a live feed directly from the venue with an online gaming component and other interactive features in a Zoom-like setting that will increase engagement among virtual attendees. This will also provide an opportunity to reach more industry employees, regardless of geography or time zone.
Skechers, the comfort technology company, will assume Gala Chair responsibilities, with Rick Graham, Senior Vice President of Domestic Sales, working closely with Two Ten to create a refreshed and truly memorable evening.
“Two Ten is one of the industry’s most important organizations, and Skechers is proud to serve as the event Chair for this year’s Gala,” said Graham, who also serves on Two Ten’s Board. “It is an honor to work with the Two Ten team, and we look forward to bringing the industry together after a long hiatus.”
“We are thrilled to have Rick and his Skechers team as this year’s Gala Chair,” said Osborne. “Skechers’ passion for the footwear community and for Two Ten is unmistakable, and their creativity will ensure that our 81st Gala is unlike any in recent years.”
“The name of this year’s Gala is ‘One Team: All In’ which not only reflects the casino theme, but more importantly continues the previous years’ ideal that we’re one industry and one community that comes together for one really important cause, and that’s to take care of each other,” said Graham.
The highlight of the evening will be honoring two outstanding industry leaders for their personal and professional contributions to Two Ten and to their community. Cliff Sifford, Vice Chairman of Shoe Carnival will receive the T. Kenyon Holly Memorial Award, Two Ten’s highest honor for outstanding humanitarian achievement, while OrthoLite Founder and CEO Glenn Barrett will receive the A.A. Bloom Memorial Award for his years of service to Two Ten Footwear Foundation.
“This year Two Ten honors two remarkable, philanthropic leaders of the footwear industry,” said Osborne. “Cliff and Glenn are being recognized for their extraordinary philanthropic achievements that have made a meaningful difference in the world, demonstrating time and again that kindness and caring are at the core of our industry.”