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PONTIAC - Toys, supplies and even playground equipment from the former AdventureCare day-care center have found new homes ranging from Pontiac to the Gulf Coast.

OSF St. James-John W. Albrecht Medical Center distributed most of the items to various organizations in the Pontiac community.

Pontiac's only public day-care facility closed in October because it was not breaking even financially. The hospital's assistant administrator, Ken Beutke, spent the last several months dividing up the items.

"We worked with several groups in the community," Beutke said. "The sisters (the nuns who run the hospital) wanted to give back what we could to the community because of their support of the project."

A portion of the startup money for AdventureCare was raised in the community. Over time, other items were donated.

Items such as cots, tables and chairs are being stored by the hospital to give to Parents Dedicated to Childcare, a parents' group that wants to start a day-care center.

After AdventureCare closed, some parents joined together in hopes of starting their own public day-care facility. They asked the hospital for some of the items for their cause. The group continues to raise the start-up money.

"They are items that are directly needed for child care," Beutke said. "It's in anticipation of (the parents' group) opening a center. Should their efforts be successful, we'll have those items."

Beutke said he first looked within the hospital organization to distribute the items. Several learning tools and toys were used for the early intervention programs and for family lounge areas.

Gary Beckman of the Boys and Girls Club of Pontiac said the playground set will make a difference for children and families who use the facility.

Beutke said supplies were also given to a Hurricane Katrina relief mission trip taken by the Pontiac Bible Church.

"We feel good about the donations that were made," he said. "It was to benefit other children. We are happy to see it being reutilized."


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