Funds raised enables organization to build a community one step at a time

Costa Mesa, California, September 24, 2019 – By the time the last of the walkers and volunteers left TeWinkle Park in Costa Mesa at the end of the 10th edition of Project Independence’s Walk for Independence, September 7, more than $60,000 from 120 donors was raised.  The funds support programs the nonprofit provides for people with developmental disabilities throughout Orange County. The 2020 edition of the Walk is set for September 12.

Key event sponsors included One Metro West/Rose Equities, Serv-Wel, Union Bank, Mitsubishi Electric, LA Chargers, Virtual Office Solutions, Harcourts Auctions, and CA Non-Profit Insurance, along with the Daily Pilot as the media sponsor. The Annual Extra Mile Award was given to Hyundai as Project Independence’s client employer of the year.

Nearly 300 people attended the annual event that featured a silent auction with many items donated by the local business community. Prizes were awarded to Project Independence clients who ran, walked or even rolled along the course in wheelchairs. All registrants received t-shirts and gift bags that included items from supporters like a certificate for a Wahoo’s fish taco and a  Raising Cane beverage, and from Honest-1-Auto, Mesa Water District and Bridgford Foods.

A display was on hand for Project Independent’s Access2Adventure program, supported by the Louis & Gladyce Foster Family Foundation, staffed by members of the Newport Beach-based Witt family. Judith D. Witt is the president of the Foundation. Home Depot provided an on-site workshop for kids and fitness trainers from the Art of Strength Fitness physical training facility in Irvine warmed up the walkers. Members of Cornerstone Church volunteered at the event.  Penjoyan Farms again provided free fruits and vegetables for everyone.

“We were thrilled that supporters stepped up again for this critically important fundraising activity because it helps pay for the many services we provide to adults with developmental disabilities living in the Orange County community,” said Project Independence CEO and President Debra Marsteller. “We are grateful to our many donors who believe in our mission.”

Eighty-seven cents of every dollar raised by Project Independence goes directly to support programs for people with developmental disabilities. To donate to the 2020 Walk, contact Director of Development Todd Eckert at or 714-549-3464.

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