HOWLAND - A mortgage burning ceremony commemorating the paying off of the Children's Rehabilitation Center building also paid tribute to a couple who have helped the center for many years.
Bob Foster, executive director of the center, said a capital campaign made it possible to pay off the mortgage of the building they've been in since 2004.
He said that more than 10 years ago, the center's board of trustees realized that they had a gem in the community with the building.
Started in 1957, the center expanded its range of services. However, the building was a problem.
''Every inch of available space was being used, and the center experienced an increase in children from 176 in 1988 to 521 in 2000,'' he said.
Foster said the waiting list of children needing services was increasing, but there was nowhere to put them with physical and occupational therapy areas overcrowded.
The board of trustees with the help of the Children's Rehabilitation Foundation came to the rescue by implementing a capital campaign to renovate and double the size of the facility.
The campaign was started in 2001 with completion of construction in 2004.
"This is a special moment in time for Children's Rehabilitation Center and will be celebrated at the center. More than 260 individuals, corporations, foundations and civic organizations helped make a reality for children to have a modern and spacious facilities for much needed therapy. Each and every one who contributed to the project should be proud of what was accomplished,'' Foster said.
Also during the ceremony, the center's speech and language hallway was named in honor of Homer "Mac" and Elizabeth "Libby" McCarty and their contributions to the center.