RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - Desert Arc recognized several community leaders and businesses Wednesday for their support of adults in the Coachella Valley with developmental disabilities.
The nonprofit group aims to create opportunities through skills training and employment, and honored those who've championed the cause in an inaugural Awards Recognition Luncheon held Wednesday at Agua Caliente Casino Resort.
Mario's Italian Cafe was also honored for hiring Desert Arc clients, including one who's been working at the business for more than 15 years.
"In many areas, they're better than any other employee you have," said owner Mario Delguidice. "They're focused -- you give them a job and they only focus on that job and not their cell phones or what they did yesterday."
While accepting the award on behalf of Renova Solar, Vincent Battaglia also told the nearly 300 attendees he would give any new customer who mentioned Desert Arc $500, and give Desert Arc an additional $500.
Sacred Heart Church, steered by Father Howard Lincoln, pledged a total of $15,000 to the organization on Wednesday, which was matched by philanthropist Harold Matzner and Eisenhower Health.
Dr. Oscar Chamudes, Jeffrey Bernstein, Ernie Rubin, Steve Beneto,and Kurt Schoppe were also honored as "Desert Arc Stars" for their commitment to improving vocational and recreational opportunities for Desert Arc clients.
CBS Local 2 anchor Brooke Beare is the Chair of the Desert Arc Board and emceed the awards luncheon.
Learn more about Desert Arc and their pathways to employment for nearly 700 developmentally disabled adults in the Coachella Valley and High Desert.