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Wegmans Food Markets has donated $25,000 to the Achievement Center of Erie, Pa., to help fund the construction of an outdoor play therapy area at the facility's new location in Millcreek Township. Expected to open in early fall at the site of a former Walmart store, the location will house Erie Homes for Children and Adults and the Achievement Center’s new space.
"They do so many wonderful things for children with a wide range of special needs at the Achievement Center," said Katie Duchnowski, store manager at Wegmans' Erie store. "They work with children from birth to age 21, their services bring about better outcomes for the children and their families, and they help regardless of the family's income. The difference they make is so important to this community that we wanted to be good neighbors and show our support."
Having helped the region's developmentally, physically and emotionally challenged children for more than 90 years, the center will now be able to aid another 700 to 750 kids over the next five years, thanks to the move.
"All children learn about their world through play," explained Rebecca Brumagin, the center's executive director, "but for children diagnosed with physical, developmental, emotional or behavioral issues, play can also be a powerful form of therapy that helps them gain skills to meet their challenges more successfully. That's why this donation from Wegmans, which we will use to build one of two outdoor play therapy areas for children enrolled in our programs, is so important."
Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans, a family-owned company, operates 84 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts.