- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (AP) - Pro skateboarder Ryan Sheckler says his foundation has reached the milestone of donating more than $1 million to support pediatric causes, programs for at-risk youth and help for injured action sports athletes.

“It’s almost like a surreal number for me,” Sheckler said this week. “I never had a number in mind to donate, I just wanted to be able to donate money.”

The Sheckler Foundation, which was founded in 2008, hit the milestone about a month ago.

The foundation’s biggest fundraisers are a golf tournament, the Skate For a Cause event and Sheckler’s web-based initiative Be The Change.

Sheckler, a regular on the Dew Tour and in Street League of Skateboarding, raised $200,000 on Monday at his seventh annual golf tournament in the Los Angeles area.

“I really have a passion for helping people,” Sheckler said. “My whole career has been nothing but love. Through my skating, my fans, I just wanted to give the love back. It wasn’t the easiest way but it’s the most gratifying way to give back, getting athletes back on their feet, and any kind of pediatric child care, getting needy kids back on their feet.”

Earlier this year, Sheckler traveled to Canada to make a surprise visit to one of his fans, Elise Kwan, who has been ill with a heart condition.

Sheckler said his foundation does work with the Wings For Life spinal cord research foundation.

“There are a lot of athletes who don’t have the right health insurance. It’s brutal,” he said. “I know what it’s like to be hurt and not be able to do what I love to do and have the financial burden. I know how they feel so I try to help out.”

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