On Saturday June 13, 2020, Blind Children’s Learning Center, a nonprofit organization serving children with visual impairments, hosted a live broadcast at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina in Newport Beach to celebrate its 16th Annual Destination Independence 5K Walk.
BCLC prepares children with visual impairments for a life of independence through early intervention, education, and family support. The organization has relied on its Destination Independence 5K Walk as a source of donations to fuel services that children with visual impairments and their families rely on to succeed.
With BCLC families more vulnerable than ever due to COVID-19, this year’s Destination Independence 5K Walk was held virtually and raised over $108,000 over a span of two months leading up to the live broadcast.
A total of 19 fundraising teams worked hard to raise funds for the organization and its families. The live event featured BCLC alums walking on behalf of everyone at home, talent showcases from BCLC students, messages from families, walkers, and other supporters, and live interviews with service providers.
Event sponsors included Frank D’Orsi, Letner Roofing, Avalon Bay Communities, First Choice Bank, HMWC, Oasis Medical, Barbara Alvarado, Delta Gamma, ECIA Benefits, and LISI.
“In a time of so much uncertainty, it was truly amazing to see so many community members and BCLC supporters come together to help our children and families,” said Angie Rowe, BCLC President and Executive Director, in a press release. “It means so much that despite everything happening in our community and our world, people were still able to support. Because our BCLC team, families, and partners were willing to try something new, this year’s walk was able to continue as a virtual event that is supporting the online services that engage BCLC families daily. This generosity has enabled us to provide thousands of sessions of virtual classrooms, education support, and therapeutic services since April 1.”
The virtual event was hosted by McDermott + Bull Managing Director Jared Moriarty, and kicked off with singing of the national anthem by BCLC alumni Danielle Houch, who thanks BCLC for teaching her how to read and write in Braille and how to use her cane so that she is able to maneuver through life safely.
Then, BCLC alums who were walking on behalf of everyone at home started the 5K course while viewers heard a special pre-recorded message from BCLC’s President and Executive Director Angie Rowe who thanked everyone who helped to make this virtual event possible.
Throughout the 90 minute event, viewers at home enjoyed family profiles from current and former BCLC families, some of which were pre-recorded and some that were live on the walk course.
Blind ambassadors who have received services from BCLC walked the 5K course at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina on behalf of everyone at home.
Blind Children’s Learning Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving children with visual impairments and their families. By operating programs including early intervention, therapy services, youth outreach, and school readiness, Blind Children’s Learning Center creates stability for kids in the community who need it most. Founded in 1962, Blind Children’s Learning Center is based in Santa Ana, CA. For more information, please visit https://www.blindkids.org.