DOWNEY – Downey residents, families, and organizations took to the streets Saturday morning as The Arc hosted their 21st annual Walk for Independence.
The event was once again held at the Stonewood Center.
The event was emceed by ABC 7 news anchor Phillip Palmer, who took some time to reflect on the Arc and the walk itself.
“It started with a really small group of families who wanted a better life for their sons and their daughters with developmental disabilities. And then those sons and daughters have grown up and they’ve got jobs and they’re out there representing not only the Arc, but their families,” said Palmer. “It’s just a wonderful opportunity for growth and also just to show our community what kids and young people are doing at the Arc and how they’re growing up and growing as people.”
Palmer also said that the goal was to bring together those with and without developmental disabilities for a “morning of hope.”
Donna Lindley, CEO for the Arc, says that the event is held for two primary reasons.
“One is for the community awareness; for people to get to know the people we serve. A person with a developmental disability is really a person first. The disability is not what defines them,” said Lindley. “The second thing is…we are here because we have to raise funds so we can keep the programs we have open and going.”
The Arc currently offers 12 diverse programs for over 200 participants.
Over 125 Arc participants participated in Saturday’s event, ranging from volunteering to walking themselves.