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Barbara Olson Center of Hope celebrates its 70th anniversay with Sensory Gala

by WIFR Newsroom | Feb 12, 2019

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- The Barbara Olson Center of Hope celebrates its big 70th anniversary with a Sensory Gala.

The center was founded in 1948. It started out as a school and then turned into a nonprofit organization serving people with developmental disabilities. Its mission is to help those people reach personal goals through individualized skill development, vocational opportunities and community service. The gala had a hands-on model of a "sensory room" to allow the community to experience the methods the center uses to provide a calming visual and auditory experience for people at the center every day.

"The state does not pay for any specialized equipment and I always think it's important that people know that anything we do, like the sensory room, is out of pocket. I think all of the equipment in there is over $23,000. Those are the kinds of things that having a fundraiser like this help support," said Carm Herman, the Executive Director of the Barbara Olson Center of Hope.

The Barbara Olson Center of Hope's goal is to raise between $50,000 to $75,000. This money would go towards new equipment and updates to the vehicles they use to transport more than 100 people to the center every day.