Work continues on new home for Center for Children and Families in Norman

Renovation of a former church in Norman progresses as Center for Children and Families continues to raise money for the building project.
By Jane Glenn Cannon, Staff Writer Published: May 24, 2014
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A grant from the Sarkeys Foundation has boosted a construction campaign for the Center for Children and Families.

The center is remodeling property at 210 S Cockrel Ave. and hopes to meet its $3.5 million fundraising goal by June 30.

A $100,000 grant from Sarkeys this month will go toward the center’s “Champions for Children” fundraising goal, Executive Director Katie Fitzgerald said. The donation brings Sarkeys’ total contribution to the project to $300,000, she said.

The center launched a fundraising campaign almost a year ago to pay for the renovation project, Fitzgerald said.

The organization needs to raise $3.5 million by June 30 to take advantage of a $500,000 challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation in Tulsa. To date, the organization has raised $3.4 million.

“Sarkeys Foundation has been a steadfast advocate for improving children’s lives throughout Oklahoma, and we look forward to recognizing their commitment by naming our new children’s services wing in their honor,” Fitzgerald said in a news release.

Once renovations are complete and the new headquarters are fully operational, Fitzgerald said, the organization will be able to double the time children and youths can participate in daily after-school activities. The center also will be able to expand its therapeutic services for children who have experienced abuse and neglect — and integrate under one roof prevention and education services for families. Currently, services are provided in a variety of borrowed or leased spaces.