A sold-out crowd packed the Lincoln Center in Spokane this past Saturday for Winter Elegance 2017, an annual event benefiting Project id. Project id works to provide “recreation, socialization, work, personal development, and transitional opportunities to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Spokane County”, and was originally the dream of founder Dixie Costigan’s late husband.

Dixie Costigan talks about Project id.

Dixie talks about how she thought she was fulfilling her husband’s vision by making Project id a reality, but has found family in the people Project id touches. She elaborated on this idea when she welcomed the room. Dixie shared that she hadn’t been feeling well lately and had been considering skipping the event.

Dixie Costigan talks about Project id.

She went on to relate how she realized that she doesn’t do all that she does just for other people, she does it to help herself as well, and she knew she needed to come out. Having a role in helping someone have a better life is one of the most healing experiences one can have. The room was filled with affirmations of this fact, with constant talk of the therapeutic quality of the smiles and hugs that happen at Project id.  It’s no surprise that so many people came out to show their support.

A silent auction was one of the ways to show that support.

Some of the items up for auction included paintings by local artist Neil Mackenzie…

A signed guitar by the group Lady Antebellum…

Signed Lady Antebellum guitar up for silent auction.

And a script from an episode of the television show “Z Nation” signed by the cast members.

Signed script for “Z Nation” up for silent auction.

Then after a successful live auction and paddle raise, The Sweeplings featuring Spokane’s own Cami Bradley took the stage to perform.

Hayley Guenthner introduces The Sweeplings.

The Sweeplings perform

Project id is doing vital work for our community.  Speaking personally for a moment, I have three children with an autism spectrum disorder, and the future can be frightening to think about.  It is a tremendous comfort to know there are people who share my concerns about my children being able to grow to have a life of their own and who give so much to help make that a possibility.  When we give, we give of ourselves, but we also give to ourselves. We do both in immeasurable quantities.  That’s how people grow communities and communities grow people.  Project id is about helping people cultivate their own identity, and as a result, our identity as a whole community is positively impacted.  Any one of us can help make that happen, sometimes all it takes is a smile and a hug.