Springbrook’s gala on Saturday will mark two milestones in the organization’s history. It also involves the start of a fundraising campaign for its future, two involved said.

The event that will start at 6:30 p.m. at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown is Springbook’s largest fundraiser of the year, said its assistant director of marketing and public relations Kira DeLanoy. It’s the 10th such annual event and marks the organization’s 90th year of service. It is also the start of the first comprehensive fundraising campaign: “Today, Tomorrow, Together: The Campaign for Springbrook.” The goal will be announced at the event.

“It’s a celebration,” DeLanoy said. It’s an opportunity for donors to interact with participants, as well as a time to thank donors for everything they made possible throughout the year. It is also a time to look toward the future, she said.

Springbrook Chief Executive Officer Patricia Kennedy said the staff will unveil two initiatives at the gala. The first involves helping students who are graduating transition into residential homes.

Graduates can wait more than a year and a half to be placed into appropriate housing. “The state wants us to look at more innovative ways to support those who turn 21,” she said.

For those families that want to stay with Springbrook, “we have to develop a postgraduate center” that will contain two- and three-bedroom apartments that will allow graduates to room with others. After their first year, “we will assess what services they need to succeed,” Kennedy said.

Plans also call for a parent engagement center, she said. It will provide a place to stay for people who are visiting their children at Springbrook. Also, it will provide a space where parents can spend some private time with their children, she said.

Springbrook opened in 1925 as an orphanage known as the Upstate Baptist Home for Children. It was established on a working 95-acre farm and also provided its residents with an education. It continued as such until 1966 when its mission changed to providing residential and educational services to children with developmental disabilities. It changed its name to Springbrook in 2005 to better reflect the range of services it provided. The organization has grown to serve adults and now supports more than 800 people of all ages with special needs.

Saturday’s event, of which The Daily Star is a sponsor, will offer fine dining, signature cocktails from the open bar and dancing to live music along with such activities as billiards, casino games and wine pull raffle.

Anyone interested in attending may RSVP by going to www.SpringbrookNY.org or by calling Laura Gattoni at 286-7171, ext. 271. A full ticket at $200 includes dinner, dessert, drinks, and entertainment, or for $75, attendees can purchase a ticket that does not include dinner. 

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