"I am extremely excited," said Chuck Martin, executive director of the Children's Center. "With the money we will be creating sensory education center within the center which is badly needed and we will be getting new, state-of-the-art equipment."
The grant matched dollar-for-dollar money received from the benefit concert performed by Rogers earlier this year and Martin said the money was needed to help make some improvements to the center.
"This money we receive is earmarked for capital improvements and taking care of the facility," Martin said. "We want to make sure we maintain our facility to the top of our ability."
While the money will help with some improvements, the Center is still in need of community help for the day-to-day operations. With that in mind, Martin announced that the Charity Walk is scheduled for Oct. 6.
"Only with the help of the community are we able to offer services with no direct costs to the parents," Martin said. "We know people are going to think, 'they just got $75,000, they don't need my donation,' but that isn't the case."
Martin said it is important for the community to understand that the money donated in the Telethon and Charity Walk help them operate on a daily basis.
"The money we receive from the Charity Walk and the Telethon help us run day-to-day operations," Martin said. "Without it we would be $200,000 in debt every year."
The Center, which opened in 1974, serves more than 240 children with special needs from birth through 21 years of age at no direct cost to the families served. Services provided include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and early childhood special education.