02/12/12 — Wayne Opportunity to celebrate 47 years

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Wayne Opportunity to celebrate 47 years

By Staff Reports
Published in News on February 12, 2012 1:50 AM

Wayne Opportunity Center is celebrating its 47th anniversary with a special dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at St. Paul United Methodist Church.

The organization, a private community-based rehabilitation facility, was established in 1964 as the Wayne County Sheltered Workshop. At the time it was located in the basement of St. Stephens Episcopal Church. It later moved to Mulberry Street and into the former Carolina Laundry Building. Its name was changed to Wayne Opportunity Center in 1989, and in 1995 moved to its current location in the former Pepsi Cola plant at 619 S. George St.

Today, the center offers vocational rehabilitation programs and adult developmental vocational programs. In 2006, it also added the HOPE, Adult Development Vocational Program on the former Wayne Community College campus at 803 C Corporate Drive.

More specifically, the center offers vocational evaluation, work adjustment training, job placement, job coaching, two adult developmental vocation programs, supported employment, Community Alternatives Programs for the Mentally Retarded/Developmentally Disabled, CORE training and CORE plus training, as well as adult basic education.

Its production services include furniture refinishing, recycling, woodworking, a mobile cleaning crew and hand assembly.

In the letter announcing the celebration, Larry and Linda Jones, banquet co-chairmen, write that "Wayne Opportunity Center has grown from a day program to give people a place to go, to a place where people are helped find employment and fully participate in our society."

At the banquet Tuesday, those attending will have the opportunity to celebrate the organization's success stories, including that of the evening's guest speaker, Dave Galloway. Galloway, who went through Wayne Opportunity Center's rehabilitation program, was injured when a car hit him while he was riding his bike five years ago.

The featured entertainment will be Al "Cousin Bossy" Cotter and Brent Hood.

Tickets for the dinner are $30. Sponsorships are $500 and come with eight tickets.

Donations also are being accepted and are tax deductible.

For tickets or for more information, call the center at 735-5363.