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DeWitt: A fountain of coins for Familycapped

When Familycapped, Inc. Executive Director Nick Cappoletti contacted Ed Marshall, operations manager of Shoppingtown Mall, he proposed what has now become the mall's annual Fountain Coin Donation Program.

Money donated is collected from the mall's fountains -- coins tossed in from customers of Shoppingtown that are usually accompanied with a wish.

On Dec. 27, a wish came true for Familycapped, located on LaFayette Road in Syracuse. The not-for-profit organization became the 2006 recipient of the program.

Credit goes to George Smith, Familycapped board member, for his incredible vision of charity. "[Familycapped] is really close to my heart," Smith said. He became aware of the abundance of coins at Shoppingtown through a mutual friend of Marshall's. The endeavor thus began.

Mall employees gathered fountain coins into more than 15 buckets, each with an average weight between 50 to 100 pounds.

Coins were tallied courtesy of M&T Bank.

Familycapped is a parent organization that offers support and advocacy to children (age birth to 21) with disabilities and their families. It has been serving Onondaga County for more than 15 years.

The organization employs 12 dedicated case managers, and facilitates family recreational, therapeutic, educational and referral services that help more than 400 families in the CNY area.

"We do a lot of family training," Cappoletti said.

Supplemental planning is also prevalent among services, added Administrative Assistant Carol Moroz.

Marshall, who celebrated his retirement as operations manager on the same day as the event, was pleased with the collaborative efforts and results.

This will be an annual event going forward, Marshall said.

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