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North Hollywood | Valley Focus

Event to Aid Youths With Disabilities

March 22, 1997|DADE HAYES

Hoping to generate donations and increase visibility as it nears its 50th year, the Dubnoff Center for Child Development and Educational Therapy will hold its biggest fund-raiser of the year today and Sunday.

The Carnival for Kids & the Young at Heart will feature adult and youth rides and games as well as a boutique, bake sale and silent auction.

The private, nonprofit Dubnoff Center, at 10526 Dubnoff Way near Cahuenga and Victory boulevards, has served children with emotional, developmental and learning disabilities since 1948. Yet officials say the center has a fairly low profile.

"Nobody knows about us," Executive Director Gil Freitag said. "The service community knows about us, but not the general community."

A recent grant from the Los Angeles-based California Community Foundation has enabled the center to better market itself, Freitag said, and the first-ever carnival is part of that effort.

Dubnoff Center did make headlines in December 1994 when some real-life Grinches broke in and stole $20,000 worth of holiday presents and equipment. In the end, however, a flood of donations more than made up for the losses.

"It was the best thing that could have ever happened to us," Freitag said. "We tried to cultivate that, but it wasn't there the next year. People gave as a one-time-only thing. So that's what this carnival is all about."

Many of the center's 109 students have helped with preparations for the event, Freitag said.

Two years ago students helped run a similar, in-house carnival that went well enough that officials wanted to expand it and invite the public.

Today's carnival runs from noon to 9 p.m.; Sunday's hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, call (818) 755-4950.

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