Letter from Chairman - 2015 Annual Fundraiser Event

July 21, 2015

Dear Friends,

I am writing for your support of Villa de Vida, a supportive community for adults with developmental and intellectual challenges. Betsy and I realized our autistic son, Ken needed to live independently. We were disappointed with the available options until we found a one- of-a-kind community in San Juan Capistrano called Casa de Amma. Ken is now thriving, joyful, employed and social. He lives in a place he can call home. Forty challenged adults are enjoying similar independent lives because of Casa de Amma. How do Betsy and I respond to our thanks for Ken's experience and to our empathy for several thousand adult Californians looking for but unable to enter such a community? Our answer is to create another one called Villa de Vida.

Two years ago we met Ashley Kim, a young experienced business woman with a heart for challenged adults. Dreaming, planning, research, networking and hard work resulted in our first achieving 501 (c)(3) status, then a thriving relationship with the City of Poway, then a partnership with the developer Mercy Housing, and now, an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with the City of Poway directed toward gifting us an idyllic three-acre property. This project has moved like a whirlwind in the last twelve months!

Now is the hard part – we need to finance Villa de Vida. We anticipate obtaining seventy percent of the funds from public sources and thirty percent from philanthropic donations. Our most immediate need is to cover operating expenses budgeted at $175,000 for 2016. We need your help!

On September 26, 2015, we are having our first fundraiser, not just any fundraiser but a FUN one called Get on Board! Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum has opened their doors to provide a wonderful afternoon. We will have tours of Walt Disney's personal barn and collection of railroad memorabilia, operating model trains of every size including those you can ride and vintage cars. There will be a luncheon and a program presenting Villa de Vida and a Call to Action.

And now I am asking you to become one of our patrons. The following program lists various giving levels at which you may contribute and let people know you are indeed "On Board for Villa de Vida."

  • $25,000 and above VISIONARY

  • $5,000 and above PARTNER

  • $1,000 and above INNOVATOR

  • $100 and above PARTICIPANT


To be listed as a Patron in the invitation, please respond no later than Wednesday, August 6th, 2015.

Click here to make a contribution!

If you have read this far, you must be one of us. Welcome! I look forward to seeing you on September 26, 2015.

Best personal regards,
Ted Merchant, Chairman of the Board, Villa de Vida

Author: Ted Merchant