SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Macerich(R) (NYSE: MAC), one of the nation's largest owners, operators and developers of regional shopping centers, is "stepping up" its commitment to making philanthropy work for shoppers across the country with the largest, single-day community event in company history, Step Out Step Up.
Events to be held nationwide on Thursday, May 8, 2008, mark the official launch of Macerich's national partnership with Step Up Women's Network, an innovative membership organization dedicated to strengthening community resources for women and girls.
"We held focus groups with our shoppers all around the country and we learned that busy women today crave connections with other women, and they also want to help others," said Susan Valentine, Senior Vice President, Marketing for Macerich. "Through our partnership with Step Up Women's Network, a truly modern, women-focused philanthropy, we are providing fresh and interesting opportunities for our shoppers to make a difference in their local communities, and have a good time doing it."
On May 8, at 65 Macerich shopping centers across the country -- from Queens Center in New York City to The Oaks in Thousand Oaks, California -- women will participate in a nationwide party to do two things: Assemble 30,000 wellness bags for women facing the challenges of cancer and enjoy each other's company along with food, fashion shows, makeovers and a wide variety of other fun activities.
The wellness bags are being filled with thoughtful items generously donated by retailers, as well as notes of encouragement handwritten by the women themselves. The bags will be delivered to more than 70 different cancer organizations just in time for Mother's Day.
Macerich is building a dynamic, multi-layered partnership with the Step Up organization that incorporates Macerich employees, shoppers around the country, retail partners and local women's organizations. This effort brings women together to make meaningful contributions to their communities and meaningful connections with each other, as well.
"We're thrilled to partner with Macerich because, as we grow nationally, Macerich offers us a natural way to reach women across the country where they already are, which is at the mall," said Danielle Carrig, Executive Director of Step Up Women's Network." Step Up has a large web-based membership community, and Macerich shopping centers give us the physical gathering spaces we need to truly connect like-minded women with one another in their local communities."
With a mission to Invest, Involve and Inspire, Step Up Women's Network differs from other organizations by rewarding members with valuable professional mentorship and social networking programs that allow them to benefit both professionally and personally, while benefiting underserved girls.
The L.A.-based Step Up Women's Network has a strong roster of celebrity supporters, including Jessica Alba, Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon, Courteney Cox-Arquette, Geena Davis, Brooke Shields, Aisha Tyler, Kerry Washington, Anjelica Huston, Jane Kaczmarek, Marg Helgenberger and Anne Hathaway, among others.
Since its founding in 1998, Step Up has grown to include 50,000 supporters who have raised millions of dollars and donated more than 100,000 volunteer hours to the organization's programs. For more information, please visit http://www.SUWN.org.
Macerich is a fully integrated self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust, which focuses on the acquisition, leasing, management, development and redevelopment of regional malls throughout the United States. The company is the sole general partner and owns an 85% ownership interest in The Macerich Partnership, L.P. Macerich now owns approximately 77 million square feet of gross leaseable area consisting primarily of interests in 72 regional malls. Additional information about Macerich can be obtained from the Company's Web site at http://www.macerich.com.