AUGUSTA, ME – Children’s Center, an early childhood intervention and family support services organization for children with special needs, has received a transformational gift that advances the future of the Center while honoring long time legacy supporters, David and Kaye Flanagan. The Harold Alfond Foundation has announced a $1 million matching grant in tribute to David and Kaye. David Flanagan is a Foundation trustee currently battling pancreatic cancer, and his wife, Kaye, is a former Children’s Center board member and dedicated advocate for children with special needs in the greater Kennebec Valley area.
“We at the Harold Alfond Foundation have watched, with deep admiration, David and Kaye’s commitment to the Children’s Center for decades,” said Greg Powell, chairman of the board of trustees for the Harold Alfond Foundation. “Through this grant, we honor their dedication to improving the lives of young children in their community. We hope that others will join us.”
The Harold Alfond Foundation is matching up to $1 million in donations supporting the Center’s expansion. Donations qualifying for match will include new donations and the accelerated payment of existing, long-term pledges. Payments currently scheduled for 2024 or 2025 that are paid, in part or in full, by Dec. 31, 2023, will leverage matching dollars.
“We believe in the work of the Children’s Center and, most importantly, we believe in the
children it serves,” David and Kaye said. “Having the Harold Alfond Foundation recognize our dedication to this mission with such generosity is humbling. We’re honored and pleased to be in such good company in serving our community and brightening futures.”
David and Kaye have been involved in the Children’s Center since they returned to Maine in the 80s. Kaye helped to strengthen the board of directors, steer the mission, and expand the organization’s future which helped to improve the quality of life for local kids and their families. David saw Kaye’s passion and belief in the mission of the Children’s Center, and it quickly became a passion for him as well. The Flanagans spearheaded a capital campaign about 20 years ago to fund an expansion for the Children’s Center, which created space for dozens more children. The current capital campaign is aiming to create space for around 100 more children at the Augusta facility, which will address the wait list of children and families looking to access vital services provided by the Children’s Center. In both cases, David and Kaye contributed their time, passion and philanthropy, most recently with a gift of $250,000.
“We are incredibly honored to receive this gift from the Harold Alfond Foundation,” said Jeff Johnson, Children’s Center executive director. “It is all that much more meaningful to be made in honor of David and Kaye Flanagan. He and Kaye have been such champions for this center, and for our champions: the children who work hard and develop here every day. This gift will go a long way toward our goal, and it will be a constant reminder of David and Kaye’s legacy of giving.”
The $1 million challenge grant from the Alfond Foundation brings the total amount raised for the campaign to $4.1 million. The campaign goal is $5 million.
“This is a tremendous moment – but the work is not done,” added Kaye. “The Foundation is
providing a great opportunity for the community to join in making this dream a reality for the
Center. I hope people will donate and that we can bring this project home for these children.”
Children’s Center announced its plans earlier in the year to expand its primary location in Augusta to meet demand. The organization provides center-based services for children ages six weeks to six years old and outpatient services, including occupational therapy, speech therapy, outpatient mental health for children and families, and case management support to kids up to age 21. Annually, the Center serves more than 250 children between its four sites: Augusta, Farmington, Skowhegan and Waterville. All sites have waiting lists with Augusta’s being the largest at more than 100 children in need of center-based or outpatient services at any given time.
Children’s Center will expand its current Augusta facility by 14,000 square feet, while renovating 5,000 square feet of existing space. The expansion will more than double the space and provide additional classrooms, specialized service areas and administrative space. The expansion will also create additional gross motor space, a stimulation-sensitive entrance and lobby, solar installation for improved energy efficiency and a reduced carbon footprint, and the state’s only Snoezelen Room. The entire project is expected to cost about $5 million, with Children’s Center more than 80% to its fundraising goal, mostly through large donations.
Children’s Center offerings cover a wide range of services, including specialized programming for children with autism, complex medical needs and global delays; behavioral day treatment for children with a history of trauma, emotional regulation and mental health needs; and a recently established fully accredited Special Purpose Private School, allowing children in need of a specialized environment to continue learning at Children’s Center for their kindergarten year.
Children’s Center has served the Greater Augusta Area since 1967 as Mid-State United Cerebral Palsy, Inc. After several moves, the doors to the current building opened in December of 1978. The building, located on the corner of Alden Avenue and Worcester Street in Augusta, was expanded in 2001, increasing its capacity to 60 center-based children.
More details about the campaign, and opportunities to donate can be found at www.AChampionInEveryChild.org.