UNICO National Donates $4,200 to FOCUS Center for Autism

Money will fund SMART Board, iPad

Members of the UNICO National presented the FOCUS Center for Autism with a $4,200 donation Wednesday afternoon. 

Members of the Italian service organization, some from the New Jersey headquarters, traveled to the center Wednesday to present the donation, which will fund an iPad2 and a SMART Board — essentially an interactive, touch sensitive electronic blackboard and computer rolled into one. 

The devices will be a big boost, especially with the facility's day program, which currently works with 12 students, said FOCUS executive director Donna Swanson. 

"We really appreciate this," she said. "Our day program is just growing and growing." 

Swanson said FOCUS also runs an afternoon session with about 20 students per day. 

Barbara Lipari Laborim, national mental health chairman for UNICO, said the funds are well deserved.

"It's a terrific program," she said. "The children are so happy. That speaks to the leaders." 

The center also runs two group homes and assists about 60 families in all, Swanson said. 

FOCUS was founded in 1992 and opened its Canton facility on Dowd Avenue in 1998. In 2000 it received non-profit status. 

The organization has undergone a few name changes and in 2011 changed to FOCUS Center for Autism to reflects its focus on those on the spectrum. 






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