PA, NY organization facing cuts
A not for profit organization that serves New York and Pennsylvania may face severe cuts this year. Penn York Opportunities offers services to people with intellectual disabilities, but their funding could be cut by 20 percent when Pennsylvania passes its state budget. Our Lara Greenberg has more.
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ATHENS, P.A. -- Gail Park has cerebral palsy and has been coming to Penn York Opportunities in Athens, Pennsylvania for 17 years.
"I just enjoy being here. I have lots of friends here and I enjoy being here," said Park, who uses Penn York Opportunities.
But she might not be able to come as often if Pennsylvania has its way. Penn York Opportunities offers support, job training, and day programming to people with intellectual disabilities.
It already lost 6 percent in state aid. And it stands to lose another 20 percent when Governor Tom Corbett announces his budget in July.
Now executive director Mary Tracy is meeting with legislators to try to save the organization.
"They can't advocate for themselves. And our role in life is to do that for them. But for them to have cuts, not to have services and what they have to do now, they have an everyday life like you and I. It's just not fair to them," said Penn York Opportunities executive director Mary Tracy.
Callear's Bar-B-Q held a fundraiser Tuesday and Wednesday, donating $2 from each meal to Penn York.
"People really come out for the benefit. It was crazy the first day and by the looks today, it's about the same," said Callear's Bar-B-Que Co-Owner Ron Callear.
The owners of Callear's are expecting to raise a lot of support for Penn York Opportunities. During the first two hours of business Tuesday, sales were up 50 percent. And there's a lot more coming in.
Those who use the facility filled the restaurant Wednesday, in hopes that Penn York stays fully functional.
"If services are cut, what will that mean for you and your friends?" we asked
"I won't be coming here anymore," said Park.
Penn York Opportunities expects to find out how much funding it will receive at the end of May. The state budget will be released in July.