Inaugural Duffy boat cruise bestowed on Project Independence

Costa Mesa, California, June 21, 2019 –

Thanks to the generous donation of the use of their Duffy boat by the Basil Witt Family and the Louis and Gladyce Foster Family Foundation of Little Balboa Island, cruises through Newport Harbor this summer have been added to Costa Mesa-based nonprofit Project Independence’s Access2Adventure program that provides important confidence-building experiences for people with developmental disabilities.

The official launch of this program takes place on Monday, July 1 at 10 a.m. at 1750 Park Ave., Newport Beach, at the public pier located at Park and E. Bay Front on Little Balboa Island.

Christopher Witt co-owns and is supplying the Duffy boat for the cruise

The Duffy boat is co-owned and being supplied by Christopher Witt, a board member of the Louis and Gladyce Foster Family Foundation, and Project Independence volunteer.

The boats are simple to handle, and Balboa Island resident Todd Eckert, Project Independence’s director of development, will be at the helm for this “maiden voyage.”

“We thank our donors for helping to underwrite a program that lets our clients experience the true independence that comes from a sense of venturing into the unknown, accomplishing what they did not think they could do and laughing along the way with their friends close by,” Eckert said. “We encourage others to get involved in the fun.”

87 cents of every dollar raised by Project Independence goes directly to support programs for people with developmental disabilities. Project Independence’s mission is to promote civil rights for people with developmental disabilities through services which expand independence and choice.

The Independent Living program has assisted hundreds of people who have taken those bold steps to move out of group homes, family households and other facilities, into homes – and lives – of their own.

For more information and/or to donate to this program, contact Todd Eckert at, call 714.549.3464.