DOWNEY - A record number of walkers helped raise more than $100,000 at the Arc Walk for Independence on March 26, organizers have announced.The walk, the signature fundraising event for The Arc - Los Angeles & Orange Counties, broke records in terms of participants and money raised, said executive director Kevin MacDonald. The event was held at Stonewood Center with television anchor Phillip Palmer of KABC-7 serving as host. The Norwalk All City Youth Band opened the event, followed by welcoming remarks by host sponsor Don Knabe. He was followed by Johnny Croshaw, who sang the national anthem. Local resident Julie Simpson also performed. Betty Morse, chair of the Arc Walk, introduced self-advocate Mathew Paulsen, who offered words of inspiration. After the introduction of sponsors, Arc, formerly known as Arc of Southeast Los Angeles County, unveiled its new name: The Arc - Los Angeles & Orange Counties. The Laker Girls led participants in warm-up exercises before walkers began their 3-mile or 1-mile treks. "It was a morning when people with and without disabilities came together to walk as one," said MacDonald. "The record breaking crowd of 3,600 walkers shared a morning of giving and hope." Walkers were treated to complimentary breakfast burritos from Acapulco Restaurant. Arc has been hit hard by state budget cuts to its 14 programs and services, which serve more than 400 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The next Arc Walk for Independence will take place on March 24, 2012. For information, call (562) 803-4606, ext. 230.
********** Published: April 7, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 51