Irvine, CA, October 24, 2019
On Saturday, Oct. 19, we brought the disability community together for our 19th Annual Strides for Disability 5K Run/Walk and 3K Family Fun Walk at Shoreline Aquatic Park in Long Beach, Calif.
More than 1,500 people of all abilities gathered at the waterfront park to celebrate the strides of the disability community to promote inclusion, setting a new event record for attendance. This year’s event also surpassed its previous record for funds raised, totaling over $122,000 for disability services in Southern California.
“Each year this event gets bigger as more people become aware of the need to promote inclusion and join our effort to change the way people view disability, said Mark Whitley, President and CEO, Easterseals Southern California. “We are thrilled that a record number of people joined us for this truly fun and cheerful celebration honoring diversity.”
The day’s activities were kicked off by Strides for Disability veterans Easterseals Board Member and Easterseals Disability Film Challenge Founder Nic Novicki (“Loudermilk,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Gotham Comedy Live”), actor/comedian Johnny Cardinale (“Chelsea Lately”) and actor/comedian Brian Swinehart (“About Last Night”), who served as the masters of ceremonies. Attendees were led in the singing of the national anthem by actor/comedian John W. Lawson (“American Horror Story,” “Law & Order,” “Super”).
Following the run/walk events through Shoreline Aquatic Park, which featured beautiful waterfront views of the Long Beach skyline and the Queen Mary, participants were treated to a special performance by special guest singer-songwriter Tiana Kocher, who performed her new single “U Tried It.” Easterseals Board Member Andre Filip and Easterseals Chief Development Officer Nancy Weintraub were on hand to recognize top finishers of the run/walk events.
Strides for Disability was made possible with support from Easterseals’ national sponsors CVS Pharmacy, Century 21, MassMutual and Amway; 100th Anniversary sponsors; Amway, Medical Specialties Managers and Softchoice; local sponsors Anthem Blue Cross, Century 21 Desert Rock, Mark Bertrand, US Bank, Behavioral Health Works, Fraternal Order of the Police, Packaging Corporation of America, T-Mobile, SurePrep; as well as our partners Aquarium of the Pacific, Autism Speaks, Banana Boat, Bondi Band, Bon Suisse, #DianaTerranova, G2G Protein Bar, Journeys Martial Arts, Kohl’s, LA Clippers, Laugh Factory, Los Angeles Magazine, Minute Clinic, Pepsi/Aquafina, Sol Foot and Ankle Centers, South County Photo Club, Spavia Day Spa, Tides of Kindness and Tru Moo.
About Easterseals Southern California
For 100 years, Easterseals has been an indispensable resource for individuals with developmental disabilities or other special needs and their families. The services provided by Easterseals Southern California (ESSC) – in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Kern, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura counties – make profound and positive differences in people's lives every day, helping them address life’s challenges and achieve personal goals so that they can live, learn, work and play in our communities. With 2,800+ employees, 60+ service sites and hundreds of community partnership locations, ESSC assists more than 13,000 people, providing adult/senior day services; autism therapy; child development/early education; employment services, veteran employment support; independent living options; and more. At Easterseals, 88% of our income is spent on services. Join us in changing the way the world defines and views disabilities at www.easterseals.com/southerncal and www.WeCelebrate.org.