By Madeline Zuckerman
With a record crowd of 350 loyal supporters, Desert Arc hosted its Fifth Annual Champions Of Change Recognition Awards Luncheon, which honors local individuals and companies in our Valley who champion Desert Arc’s mission. This year’s luncheon, held at Agua Caliente Resort Casino & Spa in Rancho Mirage, raised $ 85,000.00 to benefit Desert Arc’s life-impacting programs and services for people with disabilities.
“I am very moved by the tremendous turnout of 350 people at our Fifth Annual Awards luncheon, with 100 more patrons present then we have ever experienced at previous fundraising events,” said Richard Balocco, Desert Arc’s President/CEO. “I am especially inspired by the personal accomplishments of our Client Of The Year Awardees, people with disabilities who come to Desert Arc with goals that our human services agency nurtures and supports through our comprehensive offering of programs and services. And, I am deeply thankful to our Board of Directors, staff, and all of the individuals, businesses, and desert community cities we recognize for championing our cause every day.”
Nancy Singer, Event Chair and long-standing Desert Arc Board member and past Board Chair, teamed up with Celebrity Emcee Brooke Beare, Emmy® Award-Winning Journalist and long-standing Desert Arc Board Member and immediate past Board Chair, to make this year’s event the most memorable.
“I cannot thank Nancy Singer and Brooke Beare enough for their years of service and commitment to Desert Arc,” said Richard Balocco, President/CEO of Desert Arc. “Desert Arc has been on an amazing journey from its humble beginnings in 1959 to its present-day leadership role in serving adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Thank you for joining us in celebration of Desert Arc’s everyday heroes!”
Awards were presented in the following categories:
- Champion Of The Year – Madeline Zuckerman, Owner & President of Madeline Zuckerman Marketing & Public Relations, Inc.
- Business Partner Of The Year – The City Of Rancho Mirage
- Business Star Of The Year – Computer Consultants
- Outstanding Volunteer Of The Year – JoAnne Gilliam, Tennis Coach & Zumba Dance Instructor
- Corporate Philanthropist Of The Year – Hot Purple Energy
- Clients Of The Year – – People Served By Desert Arc’s Mission:
Christian B. – Yucca Valley Work Activity Program
Joseph C. – Supported Employment Program
Jason C. – Palm Desert Adult Day Program
Kevin G. – Shredding & Recycling Division
Shenolene P. – Individual Placement Program
Toinesha S. – For Your Independence Program
Jose V. – Landscape Maintenance Division
Robert Y. – Supported Employment Program
David Z. – Sports and Recreation Program
“Desert Ac’s Annual Champions Of Change Recognition Awards Luncheon is a very inspirational event, as it brilliantly showcases our mission in motion with heartwarming stories about people with disabilities who participate in our programs,” noted Damian Jenkins, Desert Arc Board Chair. “It’s an amazing opportunity for our nonprofit to recognize and honor other individuals and organizations in the larger community who champion our vital cause.”
Major luncheon Sponsors included Harold Matzner, Presenting Sponsor; The City of Rancho Mirage and Eisenhower Health, Premium Sponsors; Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, City Of Rancho Mirage, Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Hot Purple Energy, Edeltraud McCarthy Foundation, Nancy Singer, Doug and Verna Watson, and Madeline Zuckerman Marketing & Public Relations Inc., Platinum Sponsors; Richard Balocco, Darlene Beneto, City of Indian Wells, City of Indio, First Foundation Bank, Visit Greater Palm Springs, Michael Green, Barry Kaiman & Toni Victor, JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, Erica Davis-Popely, Pacific Western Bank, Dr. Ron A. Stewart, PH.D., and The Management Trust, Gold Sponsors.
“I am humbled by this special recognition regarding my work,” said Madeline Zuckerman, Desert Arc’s Champion Of The Year Awardee. “I became involved with Desert Arc over five years ago, and have seen firsthand how successful this human services agency’s in-depth programs are for people with disabilities. Desert Arc has created a community and family for these adults with disabilities, and their clients find comfort to live their lives with Desert Arc’s help.”
This year’s Media Sponsors included Presenting Sponsor THE DESERT SUN & LOCALiQ, Exclusive TV Sponsor KESQ News Channel 3, and Exclusive Radio Sponsor Alpha Media – Palm Springs.
“As the Chair of Desert Arc’s two annual fundraising events, I am overwhelmed with the response and support we received this year for our Annual Champions Luncheon,” said Nancy Singer. “This event is a wonderful celebration of the achievements of our clients in reaching their personal goals through the guiding support of Desert Arc’s dedicated program team.”
Save The Date of Wednesday, February 8, 2024 for the Fifth Annual “Champions of Change” Recognition Awards Luncheon.
ABOUT DESERT ARC
Desert Arc boasts an impressive 64-year history of providing comprehensive services for over 700 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities within the Coachella Valley, the Morongo Basin, and outlying Desert Communities.
For more information on how you can assist Desert Arc with its vital programs please call 760-404-1368 or visit www.desertarc.org