Austin
11:50 am
Fri December 3, 2010

Charity for Intellectually Disabled Needs Money to Build Athletic Center

The non-profit residential community Marbridge in deep south Austin helps adults with intellectual disabilities live independent lives. The facility has been around for more than 50 years, and now it's trying to raise money to build a gym and events center for its 240 residents.

A charitable wing of the Austin Police Association yesterday donated $10,000. But Marbridge still has a long way to go; estimated cost of the project is more than $2 million.

"They're buying the front entry door to that facility," Marbridge supporter Tom Leydon told KUT News. "We're going to recognize all donors throughout the building. It's going to be a building of recognition for people."

Marbridge owns a huge 170 acre plot of land on the southern tip of Travis County. Several years ago, a developer built a housing subdivision on part of the land with the stipulation that "Marbridge Village", where the residents live, would be razed and rebuilt. That's exactly what happened, except for their small gym.

"So for the last couple of years, Marbridge has been without a gym to practice for their Special Olympics sports. They do I think about 9 or 10 different sports. They have well over 100 or so participants in Special Olympics," Leydon said.

Leydon uses the word "awesome" a lot when describing the Victory Hall Athletic and Events Center they're trying to build. His 36-year-old son lives at Marbridge. Leydon says he's had a successful experience there because the non-profit brings the intellectually disabled "into the everyday world, and jobs, and doing all kinds of different things," he said.

You can read all about the project here. If you want to donate, call Michelle Levy, Vice President of Development at 512-282-1144, ext. 1006 or email her at mlevy@marbridge.org.