YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN)- Congressman Tim Ryan was in Youngstown Monday to talk about future plans to serve those with special needs.
Ryan met with Jimmy Sutman from Golden String Inc. to learn about Gabba Camp, a place for those with special needs that is coming to Coitsville.
“It is a camp for adults with disabilities ranging from austism to cerebral palsy to Down syndrome to traumatic brain injury and everything in between. It’ll be a four-season camp,” Sutman said.
Sutman said they are also looking to include equine therapy and other outdoor activities such as fishing, swimming and adult education opportunities.
Gabba Camp will be built next to the Purple Cat on U.S. Route 422.
They’re looking to raise $3.5 million to $4 million and are already halfway there. The goal is to build cabins in the wooded area open those at the end of this year or early 2023.
Ryan met with Sutman at the Purple Cat to talk about the project and promised to look for federal money.
“We want to make sure this is a destination point. It’s going to create jobs in the Mahoning Valley,” Ryan said.
Just last week, a donor gifted $25,000 to the cabin project and more private donations are being sought.
“That’s the collective action of government is to make sure we’re lifting everybody up, and that’s why you’re seeing both federal money come in that I’m helping with but also the private donations. This is a great public/private partnership to really help the most vulnerable people in our community,” Ryan said.
The name Gabba Camp is inspired by a friend of Sutman named Gabrielle, whose nickname is Gabba. Sutman met her through his friend Mike Senchak.
“As a way of saying thanks to Mike Senchak and the Mahoning Valley Hospital Foundation, we named it Gabba Camp, but more so we were enamored with her,” Sutman said.
Gabrielle loves the goats and has become a fixture at the farm where the cabins will be built.
More information about the camp and donation opportunities can be found at gabbacamp.com.