I am writing once again for your support of Villa de Vida, a supportive community for adults with developmental and intellectual challenges. Betsy and I are fortunate that our autistic son, Ken, thrives in a one-of-a-kind supportive community called Casa de Amma in San Juan Capistrano. Ken is joyful, employed and social. “Casa” is the place he calls home. Forty challenged adults are enjoying similar independent lives. Unfortunately, there have been no openings at Casa de Amma since Ken moved there four years ago. The waiting list grew to thirty hopefuls and is now closed. Betsy and I are joyful for Ken and the others that live at Casa de Amma, but we hurt with the several thousand desperate families of developmentally and intellectually challenged Californians for whom no such community is available. Our response is to build Villa de Vida.
Villa de Vida is developing rapidly. Ashley Kim, our executive director, has moved to San Diego to manage the project. We are a 501 (c) (3) company partnered with Mercy Housing, one of the largest affordable housing developers in the country. We are on schedule to complete an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with the City of Poway to facilitate their gifting us an idyllic three-acre property. We are developing strong community support in Poway. We currently have $2.5 million already contributed to our capital account and an anonymous donor has agreed to underwrite our estimated $250,000 operating budget for 2017.
Now is the hard part. Villa de Vida is a $25 million project. We anticipate obtaining seventy percent of the funds from public sources, so thirty percent ($7.5 million) must come from philanthropic donations. We need your help. Villa de Vida will not exist without generous philanthropic support.
On September 17, 2016, we are having our second annual fundraiser called Building a Dream. Shelly and Robert Reisch will open their lovely and historic Pasadena home for the evening. You are welcome to ask questions, socialize and tour their home. Dinner will be served. Our program will bring you up to date regarding the progress at Villa de Vida, and you will be given further opportunities to provide your support.
And now I am asking you to become one of our patrons. The enclosed program lists various giving levels at which you may contribute, be listed at the fundraiser and let people know you are Building a Dream. All contributions will be directed to our building capital account. I humbly encourage your generosity.
Thank you, once again, for being one of us. I am excited about Villa de Vida. I look forward to seeing you September 17, 2016.
Best personal regards,
Ted Merchant, Chairman of the Board, Villa de Vida