Earlier this month, Chimes — a provider of services and support for people with disabilities — officially opened the doors to their new Irv & Phyllis Levin Center in Millsboro.
“This was started 65 years ago by five parents who thought their children had potential,” said Marty Lampner, president and CEO of Chimes.
Chimes is an international multi-service agency delivering a wide range of programs and support to more than 17,000 people of all ages and many levels of ability. Having opened a facility in Millsboro almost a decade ago, Chimes staff said they hope that, with its latest expansion, they will be able to reach more Delawareans in need.
At the dedication ceremony, Dr. Roy A. Lafontaine, deputy director of Delaware’s Division of Developmental Disability Services, spoke on behalf of Gov. Jack Markell and Department of Health & Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf, who were unable to attend the grand opening. Lafontaine said that Chimes is one of the oldest and strongest service providers to disabled persons in the community.
“They knew what they were doing. Their total focus was on the people they serve,” said Lafontaine. “How we serve people with disabilities has changed significantly. This initiative isn’t about charity… it’s helping people get jobs. We are very fortunate to have Chimes in our community.”
The $1.8 million state-of-the-art 8,000-square-foot Levin Center will provide rehabilitation services, day programs, vocational training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities, as well as a bocce ball court.
“Chimes vocational center will help people find jobs in the community,” said Lafontaine, “giving them every chance, every opportunity to work in the community, like you and I do.”
The new center is barrier-free and ADA-compliant, and will allow the agency to expand the breadth and depth of the services they provide.
Irv Levin, who along with his wife has donated more than $100,000 to help fund the new center, said that his family supports Chimes because of what it has done for their son.
“He is so happy there. That’s the reason we do what we do,” added Phyllis Levin.
The Levin Center currently served 35 individuals, with the capacity to double that — which will likely come in handy, as Chimes continues to see an increased demand for services in Kent and Sussex counties.
“There’s all kinds of levels of education and educational needs, and this just fulfills one of those needs. And it’s just so great to see it here in Sussex County,” said state Rep. Gerald Hocker (R-38th). “I have a few relatives that attend here. They’re very happy here. This means a lot… We’re very grateful to have it in Sussex County.”
“It shows our commitment, that we’re committed to improving the lives of those with disabilities,” added state Rep. John Adkins (D-41st). “Just this year we both supported the People First language that dealt with people with disabilities. We both support the governor’s initiative for seeking out employment for those with disabilities. It’s a big boost here in the town of Millsboro. We’re glad to have them and looking forward to being a partner.”
Chimes’ Levin Center is located at 26582 John J. Williams Highway (Route 113), in Millsboro. For more information, visit www.chimes.org.