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SCARC Holds Open House To Celebrate New Community Center
Dr. Richard Lecher
President and CEO
Augusta, NJ (April 10, 2019) – SCARC, Sussex County’s primary provider of services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities, invites the public to its Open House on Thursday, May 9th, from 4 pm to 7 pm, to celebrate the opening of the Richard and Susan Lecher Community Center. The newly built Center will enable SCARC to expand the breadth and reach of services to both adult and senior populations and is the result of an incredible amount of time, energy, and resources provided by many generous individuals and organizations.
“Our existing facilities have reached capacity, but demand for services continues to grow. Our new Center enables us to double the capacity of our senior and adult day programs,” explained Dr. Richard Lecher, SCARC’s president and CEO. “We’re also able to expand our service offerings
at other SCARC locations, since many of the individuals previously served there will transition to the new Center.”
The 16,000 sq. ft. facility, which is just next door from SCARC’s administrative headquarters in Augusta, NJ, will house two day-habilitation programs where individuals can enjoy companionship, cultivate a wide variety of skills, and participate in recreational and leisure activities. The Center also features new office spaces as well as a large area dedicated to future expansion of services.
The James Dykstra Center, one of the two new programs at the facility, will serve up to 24 adults with developmental disabilities. It is named for a wonderful young man who was part of the SCARC family from the time he was born until he passed away at the age of 26. James’ loving parents, Ken and Judy Dykstra, made a generous donation in memory of their son to support this project.
The Patty Dolan Senior Center is located opposite the Dykstra Center and will serve up to 30 seniors. It’s named for an Ogdensburg educator and administrator who recently left SCARC a generous bequest.
“Patty served her school district for nearly 50 years and believed strongly in everyone having equal opportunities to education,” explained Megan MacMillan, SCARC Guardianship Services’ CEO and Patty Dolan’s attorney and friend. “She would be thrilled to know her gift is enabling seniors to continue to learn and have positive experiences.”
Major support for this project was also given by Thorlabs, Lakeland Bank, and the estate of Shirley Ratti. In addition, many other organizations and families in our community provided significant contributions that have made the Richard and Susan Lecher Community Center possible.
The New Jersey USDA Rural Development team was instrumental in the project’s success as well, assisting SCARC for several years in securing financing.
“We’re excited to have helped make this beautiful facility possible,” said Ken Drewes, the USDA RD state director. “Not only will SCARC be able to provide more support to individuals with developmental disabilities, it will also create new jobs that will stimulate the local economy.”
The local community was extremely supportive throughout this process. Berardi Building Company of Sparta served as the project’s general contractor and KG Solar and Renewable Energy, also of Sparta, installed the facility’s rooftop solar-energy system. Local septic and plumbing companies as well as local engineering, architectural, and law firms were involved in the Center’s construction as well. The Frankford Township Committee and Land-Use Board, Mayor Sam Castimore, and the Sussex County Health Department also helped facilitate the planning and construction process.
“SCARC’s board of directors is deeply humbled by the efforts and support of the many individuals, organizations, and staff who have made this new facility possible,” remarked Andy Sharick, the chairman of SCARC’s board, “In particular, our longtime president and CEO, Dr. Richard Lecher, was fundamental to the project’s success, and in recognition of his extraordinary service and leadership, the Board has named the new Center in honor of Richard and his wife, Susan.”
All members of the public are invited to our Open House on May 9th. We ask that those who wish to attend RSVP by May 1st. Krave, a Newton-based restaurant, will be providing delicious food for visitors to enjoy and several special guests will join us. For more information or to attend, please contact Kate Imparato at [email protected] or 973-383-7442.
About SCARC, Inc.
Originally established in 1957 by a group of families seeking services for their own children with developmental disabilities, SCARC has grown to serve more than 650 adults and children with developmental disabilities each year, offering a wealth of opportunities for them to live with purpose and value in the community. Currently, the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization offers employment, recreation, and family services and operates many group homes, supported living apartments, and day programs throughout Sussex County in order to fulfill its mission to provide high-quality services and supports to people with developmental disabilities and their families. Please visit www.scarc.org to learn more.