A Community Center for Adults with Special Needs Opens in the Upper Valley

By Kristen Tripodi

Published 06/20 2014 06:42PM

Updated 06/20 2014 06:47PM

Lebanon, Nh. - Adults with special needs now have a place to gather in the Upper Valley. The "Spark! Community Center" opened its doors Friday in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

It's been more than nine months in the making.

“It's kind of surreal. I look around and I'm just like, oh my gosh, is this really happening?” said John Fenley, a Co-Founder of Spark!.

The community center is an idea Fenley and Lisa Green brought to life.

“This has been something brewing for years,” said Green, a Co-Founder of Spark!.

Spark officially opened its doors Friday in the old Lebanon Junior High Building.
Green and Fenley say the idea came about because of the lack of resources in the Upper Valley for those with disabilities. A problem that hit close to home because Green's son has autism and Fenley is legally blind.

“This is going to serve the special needs population in a huge way. But in the process I think it's going to serve the community in a really big way; it’s going to inspire them,” said Fenley.

Fenley says they envision a place where people can come and go as they please, stop by for lunch, or hang out all day.

“Spark is going to be a place where we will try to broaden your horizons, and test your comfort levels to join new classes and try new things,” said Fenley.

The center runs entirely on donations. Almost everything was donated by local businesses.

“We want to keep this place open for everybody for free for all our participants because they don't have a lot of money,” said Green.

And even though they are just getting started, Green and Fenley still have big plans for Spark!.

“It’s going to be fun, you know, it’s going to be really cool,” said Fenley.

For more information visit Spark’s website by clicking here.

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