Aaron, Pathways student

Warwick, RI (January 25, 2021) –J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center is pleased to announce it has received a $7,500 grant from the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism. These funds will provide critical personal protective equipment and educational resources for in-person and distance learning at Pathways Strategic Teaching Center, Trudeau’s comprehensive education and treatment program servicing children with autism and related disorders.

Founded in 1998, Pathways is committed to utilizing scientifically validated teaching strategies to improve the lives of children with autism and their families. In response to COVID-19, Pathways educators have worked tirelessly to change operating procedures, create a new curriculum plan that supports in-person AND distance learning, and practice diligence in keeping vulnerable students safe. Through this funding, the J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center will be able to continue to provide students with autism and their educators a safe and nurturing environment for learning. 

“Doug Flutie Foundation’s unwavering support over the years has allowed the Trudeau Center to make a positive difference in the lives of so many children with autism, and their families. We thank the Flutie Foundation for its generosity and for helping better the lives of the autism community at such a challenging time,” says President and CEO Judith Sullivan.

“The Flutie Foundation Signature Grants help our partner agencies address a variety of significant needs in the autism community, especially in light of coronavirus repercussions,” says Nick Savarese, Executive Director of The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. “Programs like Pathways are helping people on the autism spectrum live life to the fullest and we are proud to support their efforts.”

Meet Trudeau’s Artists

Every year, Trudeau Center administration asks all programs to submit holiday-focused artwork to spread  happiness and to possibly be selected to adorn the annual Trudeau holiday card. Financial Independence, a Rhode Island financial company, also selects from the submitted artwork to select a picture for their holiday card.

This year we were blown away with the submitted artwork. From abstract to illustrations, our Trudeau artists created exquisite masterpieces. Meet the Trudeau artists and take a look at their creations.

Lillian C.

Lillian’s C. beautiful and colorful abstract tree picture was selected as the image for Trudeau’s annual holiday card. Lillian, age 16, is a Pathways student who loves being creative, helping those around her and putting smiles on people’s faces. Lillian also volunteers delivering meals for Meals on Wheels and enjoys giving back to the community.

Jon D.

Jon started to be passionate about art at a young age. He has taken many art classes and always sensed that art “just felt right.” Jon’s grandmother was an artist and as you can see, he’s inherited her talent.

Jon’s interests include models of robots, comics, collecting swords, Star Wars, electronic games, Manga, Anime, shopping, and pets. Jon’s submission was 24-inches high and includes illustrations, a fine attention to detail and an eclectic gathering of holiday decorations and people.


David lives in Trudeau’s Urban group home with his friends and his beloved cat, Sprinkles. A creative, kind and energetic man, David made two colorful pictures using a variety of supplies and methods. David’s artwork was so impressive that Financial Independence selected the snowy barn scene for its holiday card cover.

David likes to exercise and confesses that “fall is my favorite season because of Halloween and Thanksgiving.” When David is not creating artwork, you can find him watching “Wheel of Fortune,” petting Sprinkles and giving a smile to everyone he meets.

David spent the holidays preparing gingerbread houses, decorating the tree, tracking Santa, and he was lucky enough to receive a personal letter from Santa.

Rachael Q.

Rachael created this colorful gingerbread man using a variety of paints and techniques and I dare anyone to look at this cheerful picture and NOT smile!

Pictured here with Trudeau’s Sasha Morelli, Rachael loves getting her nails done, and adores the beach, pigs, music, and using her tablet.

Brenda F.

ln 2020, Brenda moved into Trudeau’s group home after a lifetime of living with her caring family. Pictured here with her father, Brenda’s family lives close to her new home and they enjoy spending time together when it is safe to do so.

Brenda is a friendly woman who enjoys arts and crafts, puzzles, going to the movies, and learning about submarines. Her art submission was a blue card with many stars artistically placed on the card’s cover.

Thank you to all the artists who submitted artwork, your creativity is boundless.

Shaw’s Employee Dave Huntoon

By Kathleen Layton

Shaw’s in Cranston, Rhode Island bustled with energy on a recent Tuesday morning. The store was gleaming, and the produce department was filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, arranged neatly and even artistically. This is where customers can find Dave Huntoon, a proud Shaw’s employee for over 12 years.

On October 22 I talked to Dave while he calmly replenished an onion display. A multitasker, Dave answered questions and stocked vegetables — all while pausing to personally direct customers to their desired fruit or vegetable. Asked how he feels about his job, Dave replied, “I like the people I work with because they are friendly and always help each other. Organizing the produce is important because you want to make it look nice and keep it well stocked.” The produce certainly looked nice and was superbly stocked during my visit.

A 2004 Pilgrim High School graduate, Dave works approximately 15 hours every week.  On weekdays he takes a RIPTA bus to and from work and on the weekends, his father plays chauffer. Dave lives in Warwick with his parents and is one of three boys. When asked what he enjoys doing when he is not working, Dave beams, “I help my mom babysit my nephews. My nephews absolutely love me, and I get a kick out of spending time with them. The boys are my biggest fans!” Considering Dave’s enthusiasm and kindness, I am not surprised.

“With this job, you gotta put your heart into it.”

As an essential employee, Dave has been working throughout the pandemic. When asked if that was scary, Dave shared, “With this job, you gotta put your heart into it. Sure, it was nerve-wracking at first, but I feel safe and like coming to work.”

In 2006 Dave formed a relationship with the J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center as a part of its Transition Academy. This program helps individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities become contributing members of their community through meaningful employment. The Trudeau Center is especially proud of pairing Dave with Shaw’s and enjoys watching Dave’s career grow. As the agency celebrates the national Disability Employment Awareness Month, we salute companies like Shaw’s and employees like Dave for working hard to make work work — for people with disabilities.

Please consider giving to the Trudeau Center.

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