Andy Mac is more than just big Benihanas and bigger smiles. Check out what the high-flying philanthropist is up to in NYC.
Leave it to the big kid of skate, Andy Mac to earn hero status for helping out kids. This week, the world- champion super talent split his time between the New York parks and the red carpet when he was recognized by the Fresh Air Fund with the esteemed "American Hero" award along with funny man Jimmy Fallon and New York Ranger, Brendan Shanahan. The Fresh Air Fund has been around since 1877, providing free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income neighborhoods.
True to form, Andy rolled across the venue's floor and ollied onto the stage on his board to accept the his award, much to the surprise of the cast of supporters ranging from Mario Batali and Amy Poehler to Katie Couric and Patricia Field. Thanks to supporters including Payless ShoeSource, the event raised an astounding 1.7 million dollars, equal to the number of children the program has served! Equally as headline-worthy is the fact that Andy Mac donned a suit for the event (paired with his Airwalk kicks, of course).
Andy showed his true colors earlier in the week when he threw down for an afternoon VIP skate clinic with group of a dozen Fresh Air Fund kids - - most of which had never skated before - - at Riverside Park Skate Park in Manhattan. He began the afternoon by kitting the dozen aspiring shreds with head-to-toe gear a skateboard, helmet, pads, and Airwalks skate shoes and Friendship Shoes.
Andy taught the kids an intro progression including proper board stance, transitions, tail drops, and of course, tips on falling. The session wrapped up with a demo by Andy Mac in the half pipe, culminating in a massive jump over three of the kids who were sitting atop the pipe. Needless to say, the kids were stoked, and so was Mr. Mac, ever happy to introduce kids to a love of skateboarding.
Folks can support the Fresh Air Fund by visiting FreshAir.Org, or for the sneaker aficionados, through purchase of The Friendship Shoe, a customizable Airwalk-branded slip-on sold in Payless stores and on Payless.com, for which 100-percent of the net profits The Fresh Air Fund.