NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – An ongoing effort to save a center that provides employment opportunities to those with developmental disabilities continued Saturday in Niles.
A three-day fundraiser kicked off Saturday at the Nicholson Center in hopes of raising enough money to reopen the facility. The center closed last month after losing about $150,000 in state and federal funding when it shut down for a short period in January because of the extremely cold weather.
The community has been rallying around the center and this weekend is a continuation of that effort. Cornhole tournaments and 50/50 raffles are a just a couple of events happening at the center during the three-day fundraiser.
The goal is to raise enough money to recoup the $150,000 that was lost and keep the center open. Spokesperson Karen Karash said their goal is $150,000, but $50,000 would get the center back up and running.
The center employs 31 people and services 93 adult clients with developmental disabilities. Employees are hoping the fundraiser is a success.
“I need my job,” said Amanda Winland, Nicholson Center employee. “I wouldn’t change it for anything. It’s a joy. It’s a joy just to be here and see the smiles on all their faces every day.”
The community is pitching in to help. Cornhole Coordinator George Davis supplied boards and bags for the tournament. Each team paid $20 to compete with most of the winnings going to the Nicholson Center.
“I’ve done that for years. I’ve always helped out people in need,” said Davis. “I saw that they needed funds to stay open, so I figured I’d give them a hand and help them out.”
With the money from the fundraiser and community donations, organizers believe they will be able to reopen soon.
The fundraiser continues Sunday and resumes February 19.