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Family and Children's Society Holds Open House

The Family and Children's Society is celebrating its return home.
The Family and Children's Society is celebrating its return home.

The non-profit organization held an open house at its headquarters on Main St. in Binghamton on Tuesday.

Family and Children's had been out of the building for more than a year after water damage from a fire next door in February 2013 heavily damaged the structure.

In the renovation process, the heating and cooling systems were moved to the roof freeing up additional space for counseling and training rooms.

The entry and interior were also refurbished to make the space more inviting.

"You want to have an environment that is very friendly to people coming in. That's quiet, that's conducive to counseling and we've been able to achieve all of that," said executive director Fred DuFour.

The Family and Children's Society was founded by Esther Couper.

Her granddaughter, The Reverend Janet Watrous, was on hand for the ribbon cutting.

She and her husband donated funds to outfit the children's waiting area in honor of their son Charlie Kochersberger.

Kochersberger died unexpectedly as a young adult.

"Our son was a teacher. He loved his little kindergartners and first-graders that he was the teacher's aide with. That was a very happy time in his life. It's good for us to look back and remember that he did have that happy time being with children. So, there's the coming together of family and children in a very personal way for me," said Janet Watrous.

The Family and Children's Society offers counseling to children and families and home care for seniors.

Other support for the renovation came from the Binghamton Rotary Charities Fund and the Hoyt, Klee, Mee and Community Foundations.
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