Desert Arc Celebrates Over 62 Years of Enhancing the Quality  of Life and Creating Opportunities for People With Disabilities

By Madeline Zuckerman

Desert Arc has announced plans to host its Fourth Annual “Champions of Change” Recognition Awards Luncheon, which honors local companies and individuals in our Valley who champion Desert Arc’s mission.  This not-to-be-missed Recognition Awards Luncheon will be held at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa in Rancho Mirage, California.  The luncheon will commence at 11:30 am and conclude by 1:30 pm.

Distinguished Awards will be presented at the luncheon to recipients in the following categories:

  • Champion of the Year – Jay Chesterton, longtime friend of the nonprofit organization and former Desert Arc Board Member
  • Business Star of the Year – The Management Trust
  • Business Services Partner of the Year – Rivco Mechanical Services
  • Outstanding Volunteers of the Year – Ernie Rubin and Teddi Rozell
  • Clients Of The Year – People With Disabilities Served By Desert Arc’s mission – Essential Workers in the Community employed by Desert Arc’s BUSINESS SERVICES Divisions including Janitorial, Landscape Maintenance, Shredding, Recycling, and Fulfillment.  Representing the group of 70 clients who continue to serve on the various work crews are Vickie C., Mario M., Dulce P., Casey W., and Joseph M.
(left to right) Richard Balocco, President/CEO of Desert Arc, Victoria, one of the 2020 Client of the Year Awardees, and Dawn Donelson, Case Manager in Desert Arc’s Adult Day Program.

“Desert Arc’s annual fundraising events are vital on two primary fronts,” notes Board Chair Damian Jenkins.  “They accomplish the need to broaden awareness of our cause and long-time commitment to serving people with disabilities.  And, tantamount in importance, is the fact that both the awards luncheon and the golf tournament raise monies to support our non-funded offerings, critical program and service components such as the on-site nursing staff,” Jenkins continued.


Emcee of this year’s CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE Recognition Awards Luncheon is Brooke Beare, Emmy-Award Winning Journalist, who is a Board Member and Immediate Past Chair of the Desert Arc Board.

“It is again my honor to Chair this very special event for Desert Arc,” stated Nancy Singer, Board Member and Past Board Chair of Desert Arc.  “Showcasing the great work of our clients helps to shed light on the wonderful programs and activities Desert Arc provides for people with disabilities.”

The Auen Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2022 Awards Luncheon.

Media Sponsors for the Luncheon include:

Presenting Sponsor – THE DESERT SUN & LOCALiQ

Exclusive TV Media Sponsor – KESQ NEWS CHANNEL 3

Exclusive Radio Media Sponsor – Alpha Media – Palm Springs

Individual luncheon tickets are $100 per person, with sponsorship opportunities ranging from $1,500 to $ 10,000.  For additional event information on Desert Arc’s Fourth Annual “Champions of Change” Recognition Awards Luncheon and/or information on Desert Arc, please call 760-404-1368 or visit

“We are hoping again to receive a tremendous outpouring of support and attendance from the community,” stated Richard Balocco, President/CEO of Desert Arc.  “Since 1959, Desert Arc has championed the rights of people who were born with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Currently, there are nearly 700 people,

ages 18 and older, who are enrolled in Desert Arc’s life-changing programs.  The future of Desert Arc will require us to be creative and grow our Business Services to create more community awareness, while creating employment opportunities for those with disabilities,” Balocco continued.


Desert Arc is a leading nonprofit, with an impressive 62-year history of providing comprehensive services for nearly 700 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities within the Coachella Valley, the Morongo Basin, and outlying desert communities.  Since its founding in 1959, Desert Arc has been offering people-centric programs and resources designed to meet the needs of its clients.

For more information on how you can assist Desert Arc with its vital programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, please call 760-404-1368 or visit