The Anne Carlsen Center received a $250,000 donation from Cavendish Farms on Thursday, Aug. 15, in support of a new campus for children in the Jamestown area.
Eric Wilkie, chief developing officer for ACC, said the organization hopes to break ground on the $41 million project in 2020, with plans to develop the new campus east of Jamestown Regional Medical Center.
"The donation is huge," Wilkie said. "We serve a diverse group of children and our facility is outdated.
"Right now we have two to three children sharing rooms with a lot of equipment in there," Wilkie said.
ACC is a nonprofit organization providing individuals with development disabilities with services and support, according to its website. The campus was built in 1941, and Wilkie said half of the current building is from the original construction. Technological needs are also a priority for the center, both medically and operationally, Wilkie said.
"This celebrated institution has a long 80-year history," said Tim Eisinger, CEO of ACC. "We're exceptionally proud of that entire span and the legacy of Dr. Anne Carlsen, but we know that times have changed.
"We have an increased demand for the services that we provide," Eisinger said. "Anne Carlsen needs to step to the plate and address those needs in a progressive manner. The Anne Carlsen Center exists to make the world a more inclusive place for independence as a gift to all."
Cavendish Farms is the fourth-largest processor of frozen potato products in the United States, according to the company's website, and has five locations. Jamestown is its only operation in the United States.
"We really believe the fabric in any community is the people that live in that community, especially the children," said Robert Irving, president of Cavendish Farms. "We understand the importance of children because they are the future of the next generation."
Since Cavendish Farms acquired the potato processing plant in 2001, Irving said the company has doubled its business.
"We're employing now over 200 people," Irving said. "We couldn't have done it without the leadership and the people here today."
Irving received a gift from clients of ACC. "Presented in gratitude of Mr. Irving, from the children of the Anne Carlsen Center," the plaque says.