Main Street School organizing fundraiser

Ticket sales are limited to 500, and Cleary said they're going rapidly. To purchase tickets, contact Friends group member Bethany D'Alberto at 458-9460 or Bethany@fnseep.org. You can also check out the Friends' website at fnseep.org.

After the ball, which Cleary said will likely become a major annual event, the Friends group will continue to work to raise money and awareness about the Main Street program, Cleary said. He anticipates that it will be a place for PTO members to go once their children leave the school, allowing them to maintain a connection with the place that made such a difference for their children.

""We take the kid whose parents have been told they'll never walk, they'll never graduate, they'll need care for the rest of their lives, and we give them the services they need, and when they leave here, the vast majority need nothing," Cleary said. "Those who do still need services need far less than they would have had they not come here. We help them to become contributing members of society."

It's also a bargain for taxpayers.

"For every dollar you spend as a taxpayer on this kind of early intervention program, you get $17 back," Cleary said. "Not only are we cutting back on the services they'll need in the future -- and everybody knows that the more special ed services you have to provide K through 12, the more it costs -- but we're also helping them to contribute. Because of what they get here, they can get jobs. They can do more for the world. Every taxpayer benefits from this program. You pay less throughout their lives because you invested in this program now."

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