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AbilityFirst Nears Fundraising Goal for Renovations of Facilities in Pasadena, Long Beach

Published on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 | 10:04 am

A Pasadena-based nonprofit dedicated to serving people with developmental disabilities across Southern California has raised 90% of a $5.9 million fundraising goal to renovate aging facilities in Pasadena and Long Beach, the organization has announced.

“While there have been many challenges during the pandemic, AbilityFirst has galvanized their donor community to support their Building Independence Celebrating Community Capital Campaign,” the organization said in a written statement. “ To better meet the changing needs of individuals with developmental disabilities, the organization has planned renovations and program updates for both its community centers in Pasadena and Long Beach that opened more than 50 years ago.

The campaign is being spearheaded by capital campaign co-chairs Richard R. Frank and Gloria Deukmejian.

The need for services has only increased in recent years, according to the organization.

“From 2016-2017 the number of children and adults with developmental disabilities needing services within the Pasadena and Long Beach communities increased by 1,000 people, or approximately 9%,” according to the statement. “Through these building improvements, enhancements, and program expansions from its capital campaign, AbilityFirst will better serve people with disabilities.”

AbilityFirst’s Lawrence L. Frank Center in Pasadena and its Long Beach Center have not been upgraded since they were built more than 50 years ago, “yet the board of directors has identified urgently needed improvements,” the statement added. “The capital campaign funds will modernize the buildings while also enhanc[ing] the organization’s programs to meet the changing needs of individuals with developmental disabilities in the communities.”

More information on AbilityFirst, including instructions on how to make a donation, can be found on the organization’s website at

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