Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 10th Annual Doug Flutie, Jr. Celebrity Golf Classic and pre-tournament party! The new venue for the pre-tournament party, the Hard Rock Cafe in Boston, was a big hit! And a big shout out to Mother Nature for suspending the insessant rain that we've been having just long enough to get the tournament in on Tuesday.

We are so grateful to all of the sponsors of this annual event. Especially Presenting Sponsor Sun Life, Pre-Tournament Party Sponsor Sports Illustrated & GOLF Magazine, The Hard Rock Cafe in Boston, Pinehills Golf Club & The Liberty Hotel. And a GIANT thank you to all of our volunteers! You all worked so hard and it was greatly appreciated!

Check out the Boston Magazine coverage from the event here.

See you all next year!

The Staff at the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism

Friday, May 15, 2009

Urgent Message from the Flutie Foundation and AFAM!

Rally Tuesday at the State House!

The Senate released its proposed budget for FY2010 on Wednesday, May 13, 2009. Given the challenging economic times we are facing here in the Commonwealth, AFAM was pleased with the appropriation for the Division of Autism and the Children's Autism Medicaid Waiver. However, there were extensive budget cuts made to programs which benefit children and adults with autism spectrum disorder and their families, including Family Support, Turning 22, Employment Services and Day Habilitation programs. These cuts are devastating.

Proposed amendments to restore funding for these programs will be filed by Friday, May 15th and considered by the full senate next week. Families are urged to act on Alerts that will be sent out by the Arc of Massachusetts. Timing is critical and your voices need to be heard in the Senate!

There will be a rally protesting these proposed cuts in front of the State House in Boston on Tuesday, May 19th at 11:00 a.m. Everyone who comes is encouraged to wear red. Featured performers and speakers will include Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary!

Given the current economic climate, AFAM supports all avenues to increase revenue in order to preserve critical services.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Thank you Dougie's Marathon Team!

The staff at the Flutie Foundation would like to thank Jenn Gamberdella and Jim McDermott for their participation in the Boston Marathon as part of Dougie's Marathon Team! While training for this grueling run, they each found the time to raise funds for the Foundation and brought in a total of over $8,000! Thank you both!

And thank you to Tom Carey who generously allows our team to meet at his home in Hopkinton each year. Tom is an incredibly selfless and generous guy and owner of Jaime Oil in Ashland, MA.

For anyone who hasn't ever been to Hopkinton for the start of the Marathon, I recommend making the trip out there at least once in your life. There is amazing energy in the town the morning of the race with tens of thousands of people mulling around and preparing for the experience. I must have heard 5 different languages just walking down Main St. to get a coffee!

Me and my daughter made our way over to the start line to watch the Impaired athletes and Women's Elite runners start and the excitement in the crowd as the gun went off each time was incredible. Dick & Rick Hoyt are truely two of the most remarkable people you will ever hear about. For those of you who are not familiar with them, here's a little excerpt from an article by David Tereshchuk:

"Dick and Rick Hoyt are a father-and-son team from Massachusetts who together compete just about continuously in marathon races. And if they’re not in a marathon they are in a triathlon — that daunting, almost superhuman, combination of 26.2 miles of running, 112 miles of bicycling, and 2.4 miles of swimming. Together they have climbed mountains, and once trekked 3,735 miles across America. It’s a remarkable record of exertion — all the more so when you consider that Rick can't walk or talk."

Each year when I go to Hopkinton to watch the start of the Marathon, I am sure to be there to see the Hoyts take off with the rest of the "impaired" participants. It's incredibly uplifting to watch. For anyone looking for a little inspiration, please visit their website and learn about this incredible father/son team.

Well, thank you again to Jenn & Jim for all of your efforts! The Foundation will be applying to the BAA to once again be an official charity of the Boston Marathon for 2010. Here's hoping that we are selected! It's always a great experience!

Chris Chirco
Director of Programming
Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism

Friday, April 17, 2009

Flutie Foundation Partners with Find A Cure Panel

Here's your chance to share your opinions in vital research!

As a valued friend of the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, you can make a difference! By joining Find A Cure Panel for parents and caregivers of people with Autism, you will be empowered to share your opinions in vital research.

What's more, for each survey you complete a minimum donation of $25 is made directly to the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation on your behalf. Registering is fast, free, and your privacy is completely protected.

Visit this link to sign up now, and thank you for your continued support!

Chris Chirco
Director of Programming
The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, Inc.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Autism Awareness Day at the State House - SIGN THE PETITION!

We need your help!

Deep cuts in Family Support Funds, Autism Division Funds and the DESE/DMR program are proposed in the State budget for the coming year. These are the funds that provide critical services to families like respite and flexible funding for supports in your homes, and fund the Autism Support Centers and the programs they run. Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts (AFAM) will be presenting a petition to key legislators on Autism Awareness Day, April 28th, asking them to restore these funds to the levels at which they were funded in last year's budget before the cuts began. Add your name to the petition even if you cannot come to the State House that morning. Just email ( a list back to us with the names of your family members (those with ASD, siblings, parents, grandparents) who will be impacted by these cuts, and the city or town where they live, and we'll add their names to the petition. If you'd like, email a photo of your family member and we'll copy it and include it with the petition so that our legislators can see the faces of the folks who will feel the impact of these budget cuts.

Help us send a powerful message on Autism Awareness Day that we need to restore these funds for critical services. Thank you!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Eastern Bank Flutie 5K, Cigna Falmouth Road Race and Other Stuff

Well, it looks like we can officially say that the Eastern Bank Flutie 5K will be on October 4th at MetroWest Medical Center again this year. Thank you so much to Eastern Bank and MWMC for your continued support! More information on this event will be posted on our website as it becomes available, so check back often.

We are also very excited to announce that the generous folks over at the CIGNA Falmouth Road Race have donated 15 numbers to our Foundation for this year's race on August 9th! If you are interested in being a part of Dougie's CIGNA Falmouth Road Race Team, please email me at Each member of Dougie's team will have to raise a minimum of $750 for the Foundation in exchange for the number. These numbers will go fast and we'll offer them on a first come, first serve basis so contact me soon!

If you haven't done so already, become a fan of the Flutie Foundation's Facebook page! As a fan of our Facebook page, you will be eligible for certain fan-only offers for our events.

Speaking of our upcoming events (that may or may not include special prices to our Facebook fans, wink wink) our Golf Classic is just over two months away on June 22nd & 23rd! We're very excited about our new Pre-Tournament Party venue - the Hard Rock Cafe in Boston! This year tickets to the party have been reduced to $75 from $150 and include food and select drinks! Also, there are still various sponsorships available, including the new "Golf 2-Some" sponsorship which includes golf for two people at the Golf Classic at Pinehills, 4 tickets to the Pre-Tournament Party as well as many other perks. For more information about the different golf sponsorships available, please visit the Golf Classic page on our website.

Chris Chirco
Director of Programming
The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation

Monday, March 16, 2009

Summer Water Sports Program Registration Form Now Available

The Flutie Foundation is proud to once again partner with AccesSportAmerica to provide a summer water sports program for individuals with autism. The sessions will take place at Reservoir Lake at Mass Hospital School in Canton, MA and are available in 2-hour sessions Monday - Thursday and on Saturdays from June through the beginning of August.

For more information about the program, or to download a copy of the registration form, please visit our website.

Chris Chirco
Director of Programming
The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, Inc.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Great website for information regarding each state's stand regarding autism insurance

This link was sent to me by last year's winner of our Doug Flutie, Jr. Award - Heidi Bowden. If you were wondering where your state stands in regard to insurance coverage for autism, check it out.

If you live in Massachusetts and would like to get involved in the effort to get insurance coverage for autism locally, check out AFAM's site and join them in the fight!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Thank you to our Full Court Charity Challenge Participants!

What a great time this past Saturday! We hosted our 10th Annual Full Court Charity Challenge at Basketball City in Boston. 10 years already!??! This annual event benefits both our Foundation and the LADDERS clinic in Lexington, MA. Even in these trying economic times, our supporters came out in full force and helped us to raise well over $130,000! Since the inception of this incredible event, we have raised over $1.5 million dollars through corporate sponsorships, an amazing raffle, a silent auction and general donations given by some very generous individuals.

Congratulations to our two champions - BT&E (Corporate Division) and Donohue's Bar & Grill (Open Division). Drew Gellert (Corporate) & Chris Nowinski (Open) were our MVP's.

Thank you to all of our tremendous volunteers, many of whom came to us from The Junior League of Boston. Also, a BIG "thank you" to Bob Forlenza who created this event 10 years ago and does most of the planning for this great day. Basketball City once again did a great job pulling everything together and running a fantastic tournament. Oh, and we can't forget the food. Lunch and dinner were once again provided by Carmine's Catering out of Medfield, MA. If you need something catered and you want some incredible food, give Carmine a call and you won't be disappointed. Their number is 508-277-6428.

Photos from this event will be posted shortly, so check out website for updates.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Arc of East Middlesex "Journey to Independence" Program Offering Scholarships

The Arc of East Middlesex received a $18,562.00 grant from the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism during our 2008 grant cycle. The majority of the funds will be used to provide scholarships (approximately 45 slots) to families of teens and young adults with autism to attend their Journey to Independence Program.

They are also now offering "Buy one weekend get one weekend free scholarships" while funds are available. Using a Real World House in Andover, the program offers instruction in practical skills such as planning, leisure, safety and communication skills.

For scholarship information and program availability, please contact Nancy Desmond Nastasi at 781-942-4888, ext. 5036 or via email at

The Arc of East Middlesex
20 Gould Street
Reading, MA 01867-2927

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Donate and Merchandise Pages Active Again

Thank you to the folks at Boston Interactive who whipped up a new Donate page and a new Merchandise page for our website. Everything looks great and is working fine, so please feel free to check them out!

Chris Chirco
Director of Programming
Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, Inc.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cast Your Vote for This Year's Doug Flutie, Jr. Award!

Each year as part of our annual conference, the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation and Children Making Strides award the Doug Flutie, Jr. Award to a person who has shown great commitment and dedication to raising awareness of autism spectrum disorder, or has made a significant impact in the lives of individuals with autism. The award recipient can be a parent, teacher, advocate, individual with autism spectrum disorder or anyone else who has made a difference in the autism community. For the second year in a row, we are asking the local autism community to vote on who they think is deserving of this award!

To qualify for the award, the recipient must be from the New England area and be available to accept the award at our annual conference on Tuesday April 7th, 2009 at The Sheraton Four Points in Norwood, MA.

Please send your nomination for this year's Doug Flutie, Jr. Award to along with a brief description of who the person is and why you think they should be nominated. Be sure to include both your contact information and the nominee's contact information including email address and phone number.

Nominees will be accepted through Friday, March 6th and the winner will be announced on Friday, March 13th.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Auction Item Ideas

Hello everyone!

We're in the process of organizing two of our major annual events - our 10th Annual Full Court Charity Challenge (on March 7th) and our 10th Annual Doug Flutie, Jr. Celebrity Golf Classic (on June 22nd & 23rd). Part of each of these events is a silent auction where, in the past, we've been heavy on autographed sports memorabilia. While those items are very nice and typically do very well at the auctions, we've noticed that people are leaning more toward "experience" items lately, like weekend stays in the mountains and dinner and a play-type items.

We are reaching out to our supporters to ask if you have any sort of items that you would be willing to donate for one of these events to please contact us. If you have a place up north or a timeshare that you could offer for a weekend or a week, or if you are a business and could offer a gift certificate for a service (for example - house cleaning services). Anything like those are great, unique items that people enjoy because they really feel like they are getting something for their contribution.

If you have something interesting that you think that we could use for one of our upcoming auctions, please email me at

Chris Chirco
Director of Programming
The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Massachusetts Autism Insurance Reform Bill!

I meant to get this up last week, but I was out of commission with a nasty illness. Anyway, an AUTISM INSURANCE REFORM Bill was introduced in the Massachusetts Legislature. The bill, House Docket 984 "An Act Relative to Insurance Coverage for Autism" (ARICA), is sponsored by Representative Barbara A. L'Italien and State Senator Frederick E. Berry. It would require private healthcare policies to provide coverage of the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders. ARICA would cover applied behavior analysis (ABA) and other medically necessary, evidence-based treatments prescribed by an insured's treating physician or psychologist. AFAM (Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts) and its member organizations are aggressively working to ensure passage of this crucial legislation.

For more information about the Bill including the full version, go to If you scroll down a bit, you'll see the summary of the Bill and at the bottom of the page there is a link to a pdf of the full version.

Contact your legislators and let them know that you support this Bill!!!

Chris Chirco
Director of Programming
The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Photos from Flutie Bowl posted!

Our photographer from Flutie Bowl, Derek Wilmot took some great shots at the 6th Annual Flutie Bowl! To see them, visit the Flutie Bowl page on our website.

Chris Chirco
Director of Programming

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Donate & Merchandise pages on our website

Hey everyone,

If you've visited our Donate or Merchandise pages in the last couple of days, you might have noticed that currently you cannot donate or purchase merchandise online. Our good friends at Boston Interactive are in the process of building new and improved pages for us that should be up shortly. In the meantime, if you would like to purchase Flutie Foundation merchandise or would like to make a donation to our Foundation, please give our office a call at 1-866-3AUTISM. Feel free to send us an email or give us a call with any other questions as well.

Thank you!
Chris Chirco
Director of Programming
The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Flutie Bowl etc...

Happy belated New Year!

As we have finally dug out from the week leading up to our 6th Annual Flutie Bowl event which took place on Monday night, January 12th, at Lucky Strike Lanes in Boston, I had a chance to reflect on how truly lucky we are to have such wonderful supporters! This year’s bowling event could have very easily been a disaster in our current economic climate, however the event was sold out and everyone in attendance seemed to have had a great time! At the end of the night the Foundation had raised close to $50,000! Thank you to Lucky Strike for donating the venue and the food for the event! You guys are great! Thank you to all of our lane and product sponsors as well. Our success wouldn't be possible without your support.

These events can not be successful without the help of an incredible crew of volunteers. At Flutie Bowl, they kept the event running very smoothly leaving the Foundation’s staff free to interact with sponsors and supporters. A very special thank you to the volunteers from the Junior League of Boston! Also, thank you to John Breen and Jen Lofberg who help out at just about every Flutie Foundation event and are always willing to do whatever is asked of them. Every charity should have a dedicated group of volunteers like ours, and for that, we are grateful!

Now we’ll start focusing on our next event – the 10th Annual Full Court Charity Challenge on March 7th at Basketball City in Boston, Mass. I can’t believe we’re in the 10th year of this event already! It seems like only yesterday the teams were lacing up the sneakers for the 1st Annual Full Court Charity Challenge. Since 1999, the basketball tournament has brought in over 1 million dollars to the Foundation with the help of great corporate sponsors like Tudor Investment Corporation and the countless other companies who have purchased team sponsorships over the years. Hopefully we’ll be seeing a lot of familiar faces back at the Tournament this year!

Chris Chirco
Director of Programming
Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation