AbilityFirst has announced it raised a record-breaking $ 1 million to benefit the 2,000 people and their families it supports each year at its recent Stroll & Roll fundraiser in support of its mission of serving children and adults with disabilities.
The fundraiser kicked off with an event on Sunday, April 8, 2018 at the Los Angeles State Historic Park but continued through June 15, 2018 inspired by a $75,000 matching grant from the AS&F Foundation with several last-minute contributions coming in close to deadline and thus helping to hit the goal and receive the matching grant.
The $1 million raised this year is the largest single-year result in the history of AbilityFirst’s walk-related events, starting in 1985. The proceeds will provide much needed funding for AbilityFirst programs in support of individuals with disabilities achieving their personal best. The organization does this by focusing on the successful transition from childhood to adult life; employment training and coaching, building social connections and independence a fully-accessible camp, Camp Paivika and offering participants and their families a chance to refresh and recharge.
“I am deeply grateful and proud of all the hard work put into this year’s Stroll & Roll by our staff, volunteers, board members, participants and their families,” said CEO Lori Gangemi. “We also could not have achieved this remarkable $1 million goal benefitting AbilityFirst programs and services supporting individuals with disabilities, without the generosity of our corporate sponsors, the AS&F Foundation and all the individuals and teams who kept the momentum going.”
This year’s Stroll and Roll presented by Comerica Bank, Nextera Energy and Subaru of Glendale was held at a new venue with exciting interactive experiences along the nearly 5K route, including a football toss from the Los Angeles Chargers, a fully-accessible photo booth and several food trucks. Each of AbilityFirst programs was featured with stops along the walk to help educate attendees on AbilityFirst’s mission of looking beyond disabilities, focusing on capabilities and expanding possibilities.
Contributing to the successful fundraising effort, longtime AbilityFirst supporter Lawry’s Restaurants held their annual in-house fundraiser at each of their Los Angeles based restaurants, breaking previous fundraising records. First time presenting sponsor, Subaru of Glendale named AbilityFirst its local charity in their 2017, “Share the Love” campaign, benefitting AbilityFirst Glendale Center, providing on-site after school programs for children in the greater Glendale communities.