Costa Mesa, California, Feb.2, 2021 – Nonprofit Project Independence of Costa Mesa has announced that the Costa Mesa-based Daily Pilot newspaper will again be the media sponsor for the 12th Annual Walk for Independence fundraising event, which is set for October 2, 2021, during National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

The commitment includes two half-page ads that will list the names of all sponsors and include a description of the event and the mission of Project Independence. In turn, the nonprofit will feature the Daily Pilot name prominently in social media, publicity and elsewhere.

Funds raised from the walk will help support the organization’s Independent Living, Supported Employment, and Day Program services that support more than 600 adults. More than 400 people are anticipated to participate the event that raised more than $50,000 last year.

Because of COVID-19, the 2020 edition of the walk celebration was held virtually and included inspirational videos, prizes, a virtual auction and more. More than $50,000 was raised.

“We thank our friends at the Daily Pilot for helping us get the word out about our walk that celebrates independent living for people with developmental disabilities,” said Project Independence CEO and President Debra Marsteller.  “Thank you to all of our other sponsors and to our walkers, as well.”

Project Independence has more than four decades of service and stability in Orange County as a lifeline to adults with developmental disabilities who are now at even greater risk because of the pandemic. The essential workers who comprise the Project Independence staff continue to serve clients despite challenges brought on by COVID-19.

To become a 2021 walk sponsor, please contact Director of Development Todd Eckert at or 714-549-3464.

In 2020, the walk’s title sponsor was One Metro West. Other Project Independence sponsors were Home Depot, Bridgford Foods, Mitsubishi Electric, Union Bank, Advanced Dental, Serv-Wel Disposal and Recycling, Virtual Office Solution and Honest-1 Auto Service. Conducting the workout sessions was the Art of Strength Fitness of Irvine.

Eighty-seven cents of every dollar raised by Project Independence goes directly to support vital programs for people with developmental disabilities.

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