By LOUIS CASIANO JR. | Orange County Register – A Costa Mesa-based nonprofit that serves those with developmental disabilities in Orange County will restart a popular program to provide its clients with outings and social interaction thanks to a $10,000 grant.
The money – from the Louis and Gladyce Foster Family Foundation – given to Project Independence this month will help bring back its Access to Adventure program after budget constraints forced the group to shutter the program around two years ago.
“We kept it going for as long as we could and then the economy hit and things got expensive,” said Debra Marsteller, CEO for Project Independence.
The program provided supervised outings to Angels Baseball games, kayaking in Newport Beach and bowling, among other activities.
“Loneliness is one of the biggest problems facing the people we serve, said,” Marsteller said. “In order to help people build friendships and have social recreational opportunities, we have to build opportunities for them to get together.”
The program was nixed after the outings became too expensive and state funding could not help cover its costs.
On Friday, June 30, Todd Eckert, director of development and Marsteller were discussing possible activities the put the money towards. Some ideas included Angels games and excursions at the Newport Aquatic Center.
“We have to keep it simply because as generous as $10,000 is, it will be eaten up very quickly,” Eckert said.