Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Second Daystar Center to Be Built in Clay; Facility to Serve Developmentally Disabled Adults

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Second Daystar Center to Be Built in Clay; Facility to Serve Developmentally Disabled Adults

Article excerpt

Byline: MARY MARAGHY

Permits have been pulled and construction is slated to begin in January on Clay County's second Daystar Center for developmentally disabled adults.

Construction should take about six months to build the 3,500-square-foot facility which will be an extension of the Barco Newton YMCA in Fleming Island.

"We're further along than we ever thought we would be," said Tony Knott, who with his wife, Jo Knott, founded and designed the first Daystar Center at the Bob Dye Clay YMCA in 1998, where 15 special-needs adults come daily for activities and therapy.

Thanks to two generous donors, who wish to remain anonymous, Knott said, the $430,000 Fleming Island project fund is only about $50,000 short. Already, 40 people are on a waiting list for the center, which will have room for 20.

Tony, a general contractor, and Jo Knott have a 30-year-old daughter, Rhonda, who was born with a severe brain injury. Since her birth, the couple has worked to provide services for her and others like her. The Knotts helped create the Lighthouse Learning Center, a therapeutic preschool in Orange Park.

In 1994, the Knotts, along with Linda and John Cone, created the Baptist Association for Special Children and Adults, which provides summer camps, swimming, fitness, recreation and training classes plus operates two group homes in Orange Park.

Jo Knott wrote Wake Up, Rhonda in 1989, with a foreword by the late Rev. Homer Lindsay Jr.

Tony Knott, a long time YMCA board member, is serving as general contractor for the new Daystar Center in Fleming Island.

Adding Daystar to the Bob Dye Clay YMCA campus fits with the YMCA philosophy, said Dorothy Barrell, director of the Bob Dye Clay YMCA, who said YMCAs are designed to provide programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all - including this special population. …

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