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Santa Skates Too!

Dec 21 2004 / Tuesday

etnies distributes 500 pairs of new shoes to needy Orange County kids at the etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest.

Santa, Mrs. Claus, their friendly elves and Pierre André Senizergues, owner and CEO of etnies, brought holiday cheer to needy children of Orange County, Calif., last Friday, Dec. 17, by hosting a Holiday Festival complete with Christmas crafts, demos from pro skateboarders, food and more. Plus, each child received a brand-new pair of etnies shoes just in time for Christmas.

The shoe donation and Holiday Festival was in celebration of the first anniversary of the etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest, which nearly 1,500 kids use each week. Pro skateboarders were on hand to greet the kids, perform demonstrations and sign autographs.

X Games 2003 gold medal winner Ryan Sheckler said, "Christmas is a time for family, friends and building good memories. I've been blessed this year and I'm happy to be a part of making someone else's holiday special." Sheckler was joined by other pros, including Lauren Perkins, Arto Saari, Rune Glifberg, Leo Romero, Matt Allen, Kerry Getz and more.

Several Orange County non-profit organizations brought their children to the event, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club (Westminster and Garden Grove), Human Options (a domestic violence shelter in Irvine) and Olive Crest (a foster and adoption agency in Santa Ana).

"We're excited at the success of the etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest," Senizergues reflects. "I can't think of a better way to celebrate than to give youth of all ages, who may otherwise not have a happy holiday season, a chance to see Santa Claus, watch our pro skateboarders and receive a brand new pair of etnies. The skatepark is about giving back to the community—and we're doing just that with our Holiday Festival and shoe donations this year!"

With strong community input and support, etnies and the City of Lake Forest worked to create a world-class skatepark facility designed for the youth of Orange County. Using a public/private partnership to help offset the costs by more than 25 percent, etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest is currently one of the nation's largest skateparks.

Initially, Senizergues made a generous donation to the City of Lake Forest to offset costs and make the skatepark free of charge for all guests during its first year of operation, and he is currently working with the city to make this possible for yet another year.

Santa skates too!

Lauren signing autographs for some of her youngest fans.

Arto, Rune and Ryan (left to right) signing posters for the kids.

Pierre receiving gifts from the kids.

Every child received a brand-new pair of etnies. Five hundred pairs of shoes were donated in all.

The line to get a picture taken with Santa.

One of the craft tables.

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