Article: Fans walk a mile for Hanson

By | September 12, 2008

From Portland Life:

On Sunday, Sept. 7, 250 people gathered outside the Aladdin Theater singing, chanting and holding signs as they walked one mile. But this wasn’t a picket line, it was a celebration — the band Hanson was in town.

“Everyone say, ‘I took the walk,’” lead singer Taylor Hanson yelled into a megaphone while walking down Southeast Milwaukie Avenue.

Portland marked the trio’s 69th mile walked alongside fans to raise money for clean water, education, shoes, AIDS treatment and healthcare in South Africa. The band, currently touring in support of their newest album, “The Walk,” has embraced the concept of using their fans and influence to stage one-mile walks before each show. The brothers — singer/keyboardist Taylor, 25; guitarist Isaac Hanson, 27 and drummer Zac Hanson, 22 — donate one dollar on behalf of each fan that walks this mile with them. And Hanson walks without shoes.

“You build up a tolerance,” Taylor said. “It’s not too bad. The reason we walk barefoot is to feel the needs of someone else.”

Hanson has teamed up with TOMS Shoes — a company that donates one pair of shoes for every pair that is purchased. With Hanson’s help they have already donated 50,000 pairs of shoes in South Africa.

“You see that one dollar is making a difference, or one pair of shoes. We want to encourage you guys,” Taylor said into his megaphone on the Portland walk. “We’re going to walk around the world.”

The band hopes to have fans walk a total of 24,902 miles — the distance around the world — for which they will donate money.

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