People at the John McGivney Children's Centre in Windsor are celebrating after receiving a half a million dollar donation.

Local philanthropist Al Quesnel made the donation Friday afternoon.

Quesnel originally pledged $300,000, but surprised everyone Friday by announcing he made it a couple hundred thousand more.

“I just wanted to show my support in making sure that the programs and services that they do offer or continue to offer don't get over shadowed or overlooked by any means," says Quesnel.

The news comes after 17 people at the children's centre were issued layoff notices due to changes by the province to the funding model for autism services.

The layoffs don’t take effect until the end of June.

The John McGivney Children’s Centre helps children and youth with special needs reach their full potential.