ALLEGAN, MI — Perrigo has donated a building in Allegan to a local safe harbor facility, which will allow the organization to expand their services and better serve children and families in the community.
Gathered under tents to protect from heavy rain on Thursday, Nov. 21, Perrigo representative Erin Bonovetzv handed the building’s keys to Safe Harbor Children’s Advocacy Center Executive Director Lori Antkoviak.
The building still needs renovations before the nonprofit can move in. The plan is to kick off a fundraising campaign in December and to break ground in spring 2020, said Erin Bonovetz, senior vice-president of OTC business for Perrigo.
The donated building was appraised at $320,000 and will allow the organization to expand from 2,400 square feet to 6,000 square feet, according to a Nov. 21 news release.
“This is a very, very critical day for the safe harbor agency,” Bonovetz said. “The donations that Perrigo is sponsoring for us is going to be critical for the agencies growth and support.”
The organization has been serving children healing from abuse in the Allegan community for over 26 years, Safe Harbor Executive Director Lori Antkoviak said.
Services provided by the organization include coordinating forensic interviews, counseling, advocacy, court advocacy and a multi-disciplinary team that works with sexual and severe physical abuse victims and their families.
New services the new facility will allow include rooms designed for specific age groups to help children be comfortable when sharing their stories, and observation rooms for law enforcement and other officials. Additional spaces will allow multiple children to take part in a variety of therapy sessions.
“Each of these essential services help children find hope and healing after abuse,” Antkoviak said. “We thank Perrigo for bringing light to children.”
Perrigo, founded in Allegan, produces store brand, over-the-counter health and wellness products. The company’s global headquarters was moved to Dublin, Ireland, in 2013, though its North American base of operations remains in Allegan.
Perrigo has owned the building for decades and it was currently not being utilized, Bonovetz said. Safe Harbor took possession of the building about two weeks ago.
Pat Hodapp, vice-president of operations finance for Perrigo, is on Safe Harbor’s board of directors and he “put the pieces together” after recognizing the opportunity for the company to to give back to the community, Bonovetz said.
“[We] pride ourselves in being responsible corporate citizens by giving back to the community,” Hodapp said. “We want to ensure Allegan continues to be a safe haven for children and families across the region.”