Penn-York Opportunities began in 1968 as a dream fulfilled by its founder, Mrs. Sharlene Bogutski. After her 11-year-old son died of a brain tumor, the family asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to a memorial fund that would be used to open a handicapped center in the Valley.
A series of meetings were started with those working in such professions as employment and mentally disabled programs.By October 1968, the first workshop for the handicapped opened on North Keystone Avenue at the site of the Ugite firm.
Sharlene Bogutski was president of the Penn-York Women’s Auxiliary for six years. During those six years, Penn-York grew and moved in 1969 to a new location on Desmond Street in Sayre, PA before settling in to their current location. Penn-York Opportunities obtained their current location, 101 S. Main St. in Athens, PA, when Ingersoll Rand donated their old employee clubhouse building to Penn-York Opportunities free of charge.
When the flood of 1972 completely demolished Penn-York’s building, Mrs. Bogutski and the women of the Penn-York Women’s Auxiliary worked diligently to restore it.
It is because of Sharlene Bogutski’s vision, diligence and selflessness that we are still here today. We at Penn-York Opportunities are grateful to all she has done and for all the lives she has changed.
Information provided by an article that appeared in the Towanda Daily Review, August 25, 1981, page 3.