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When Lou and Leslie Capasano moved to the area, life was good. Business was booming and his contracting business and her real estate sales were growing. It was then they started Kiddie Land Academy Day Care in Groveland and located in rental space.

They purchased the adjacent property with the ice of eventually moving next door and using the surrounding area for a community outreach program and establishing it as a non-profit.

Fast forward a few years and the economy has tanked, real estate sales bottom and parents with children start pulling out of the day care to save money leaving behind only those subsidized by the government to cover the costs.

With the diminished revenue, the Capasano's were left with what appeared to be one option. They could not operate the facility and pay for rent forcing them to close. That would have put a number of young children out of a place to go with parents who were already strapped for cash and with no alternative.

It was at that moment that Diane Garvis with the Good Neighbor Program just happened to stop at the day care distributing blankets for people in need. It was then Garvis discovered that the Capasano's had an alternative, but no funding to make it happen.

They owned the building next door but it would require a lot of work to make it useable for the day care. Garvis took to the phones and began contacting other local businesses. She got commitments for labor and supplies to do what she called an "extreme makeover."

"We collected not one penny to do this," Garvis told the crowd during the official ribbon cutting for the day care. "No money exchanged hands. And look where we are today."

More than 30 businesses and local agencies pitched in to get the building in shape to assure that the day care children will still have a place to go in Groveland.

While some final work needed to be completed, the building, located on SR 50 in downtown Groveland, was expected to be open by the end of the month.


Over 30 businesses pitch in to rebuild structure for a Groveland day care that was preparing to close
Kiddie Land
Tablet publisher Patty Corradino talks with John from John's Painting about the effort he put into the job. One week later the exterior looked like the photo below. (Photos by Mike Corradino)
John's Painting
more photos
Diane Garvis
When Diane Garvis of the Good Neighbor Program was out distributing blankets on a cold night, she discovered Kiddie Land Academy was preparing to close. She mobilized other businesses to help assure low income families had a day care for their children. (Photo by Mike Corradino)

 

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