40th anniversary-related event enables nonprofit to build a community one step at a time

Costa Mesa, California, Sept. 13, 2017 – The eighth edition of Costa Mesa-based nonprofit Project Independence’s Walk for Independence, which commemorated the organization’s 40th anniversary, resulted in donations of more than $50,000.

More than 200 people participated in the event, which was held September 9 at Tewinkle Park in Costa Mesa.

Barbara and Mickey Shubin of Huntington Beach, owners of Barbara Shubin Productions, were the presenting sponsors with a donation of $10,000.  The top fundraiser was Project Independence client John Correa, who garnered $1,792 in donations.  This year, Trader Joe’s received the Extra Mile Award for employing people with developmental disabilities at Trader Joe’s locations in Huntington Beach, Irvine, Newport Beach and Orange.

“We created the Extra Mile Award to applaud those who provide employment for people with developmental disabilities,” said Project Independence CEO and President Debra Marsteller. “They are setting an important example for other companies to follow.”

More than 60 people volunteered, including from The Cornerstone Church, Cal State Fullerton, Kiwanis and Paul Mitchell School of Costa Mesa, and 16 exhibitors were registered. Last year’s Extra Mile Award recipient, Home Depot, again staged a workshop. A bounty of prizes from the local business community was awarded following the walk. Orange County marathon runner and Project Independence client Marcell Bassett was this year’s grand marshal.

“We heartily appreciate community support for our walk from our many friends and business associates who understand the importance of the work Project Independence does for people with developmental disabilities,” said Board Chair Judy Cole.

Nearly 95 cents of every dollar raised by Project Independence through the annual walk goes directly to support programs for people with developmental disabilities.

For additional information, please visit www.proindependence.org.