United Way raises $900,000 with 5K fundraiser

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Wave Staff Report

INGELWOOD — United Way of Greater Los Angeles raised close to $900,000 Nov. 5 as more than 5,800 participants took part in the inaugural WalkUnitedLA at SoFi Stadium.

The Los Angeles Rams, Southern California Gas Company, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the Margie & Robert E. Petersen Foundation and other local community and philanthropic organizations and businesses took part in the event that evolved from United Way of Greater L.A.’s flagship event HomeWalk.

Since 2007, HomeWalk has raised more than $9.5 million to end homelessness.

This year, United Way of Greater Los Angeles, in partnership with the Rams, expanded the focus of the walk to acknowledge and address the intersectional root causes of poverty and benefit the diverse community organizations working to build a more equitable Los Angeles.

“Aligned with our vision to unite the community, it was fitting that the new home of the Los Angeles Rams could also serve as the new home for WalkUnitedLA and this tremendous example of what is possible when we come together,” said Los Angeles Rams Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff.  “As committed partners of United Way of Greater Los Angeles, the Rams stand with the WalkUnitedLA participants in the fight to end poverty and to expand opportunities for all.”

More than 200 teams competed for top spots with fundraising and participants. SoCalGas came in first, with nearly 800 participants raising more than $100,000 raised and nearly 800. A close second was East West Bank, which raised more than $34,000 with over 300 participants, followed by City National Bank, and JPL Voyagers. 

Strength Based Community Change (, Team Rams and United LA Union were in the top five for most team members.

“Thanks to our fundraising match sponsors, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation for homelessness solutions, and the Margie & Robert E. Petersen Foundation for educational equity, we were able to leverage our impact for our most vulnerable neighbors, students and families,” said Elise Buik, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles. “After the devastating months many in our community have faced with the pandemic, we know that these resources will make a difference, especially in the communities of color hit hardest by the pandemic.”

The 5,000-meter course went through the stadium on concourse level 6. Participants also enjoyed a fun family festival with music, food trucks, a beer garden, kids zone, “Listen In,” art installation and plenty of opportunities to get involved in the event’s vision for a more just and equitable Los Angeles County.

The public sound art installation “Listen In,” inspired a collective awareness to end homelessness. Some additional highlights included the Compton Kidz Club all-girl choir, dance and stretch routines led by the Rams cheerleaders, Rampage, and more.

“Ending homelessness requires a united commitment to permanent housing, and we are proud to be a longtime partner with United Way of Greater Los Angeles in this effort and to match pledges to support organizations working to end homelessness throughout Los Angeles County,” said Peter Laugharn, president and CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. “To rebuild a more equitable community, we need to work together to advance solutions that ensure everyone has a place to call home.”

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