Over 3,000 participants and 400 volunteers took part in the 15th Annual Partnership Walk at the Santa Monica Pier Sunday, October 25th, an event to raise awareness and funds to alleviate global poverty and promote partnership between America and the developing world, according to the Aga Khan Foundation USA.

More than $300,000 was raised at the charity event, with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to projects supported by the Aga Khan Foundation USA.

Los Angeles was the first city to launch Partnership Walk 15 years ago. This year, nationwide, over 30,000 are expected at Partnership Walk events being held in nine cities, including Atlanta, Birmingham, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Memphis, Orlando and San Francisco.

In addition to individual participants, scores of teams from

corporations, universities, schools and community organizations will also be walking as part of the effort to end global poverty.

Partnership Walk was kicked off with an opening ceremony at which several civic and community leaders were in attendance, including Santa Monica Mayor Pro Tem Pam O’Connor and school Superintendent Tim Cuneo. One of the prominent speakers was Los Angeles Councilman and former LAPD Chief Bernard Parks, who received a Special Recognition Award for his continuous support of Partnership Walk for the past seven years.

The theme for Partnership Walk 2009 was “Education, the Universal Bridge,” highlighting the successes, expansion and far reaching impact of the Aga Khan Foundation’s educational programs. The foundation programs aim to diminish the many obstacles to educational access and achievement in the developing world.