2013 Press Releases

Team Hoyt New England

On December 10, 2013 the Center of Hope Foundation held the last of 2013’s monthly Sandwich and Social event.   This event offers anyone from the community a tour of the facility located at 100 Foster Street, Southbridge, MA.  On this particular day, Dick and Rick Hoyt, Team Hoyt New England’s office manager, Kathy, Rick’s care provider Jessica, and “Angel” runner Michael DiDonato for Kyle Brodeur all attended the social.  Through the years, the Hoyt family has been instrumental in the betterment of services for people with disabilities.  They have set the bar by saying “Yes, You can!” and have opened the eyes of people to the vast possibilities people with disabilities may have with a little bit of help from others.  Although the Hoyt family is no stranger to the Center of Hope and the programs provided, they were interested in hearing and seeing the latest endeavors in business growth, vocational integration, program developments, and community involvement.

Team Hoyt New England has been an active participant at the Center’s Gobble, Gobble Road Race.  Team Hoyt has designed a road race chair in collaboration with Michael DiDonato, of Southbridge Tool & Manufacturing.  Together they have partnered with the Center of Hope’s subsidiary Noress Corporation, for the packaging of the race chairs.  After the tour, the event participants gathered together to share insights and much to the Center of Hope’s surprise, witness the generosity of the Team Hoyt Foundation – New England.  Rick Hoyt asked to say a few words, and through his computer software spoke these words… “On behalf of the Team Hoyt Foundation, we would like to present the Center of Hope Foundation with a check for $15,000.”

Many gasps of breath could be heard and several eyes shed tears of joy.  There was a scurrying about to gather more people to the conference room to hear the good news.  Cindy Howard, Director of Operations, asked if there was a particular program they would like the Center to disperse this gift to.  Collectively the Hoyt family agreed the Center of Hope could make that decision based on need and what would serve the agency the best.  Considerations on how to best use this generous donation are being discussed.

The Center of Hope Foundation would like to extend their greatest appreciation to Team Hoyt Foundation – New England for their continual support and participation and most generous donation.  Together, “yes WE can” strive for better care, education and development of opportunities for people with disabilities.

Uno’s Restaurant in Sturbridge, MA Raised Dough through “Center of Hope Week.”

You have heard about dough raisers dedicated to organizations for a few hours on a single night, or even maybe for a full day, but for a whole week?  Yes, that is right; one week was dedicated to the Center of Hope Foundation at Uno’s Restaurant in Sturbridge, MA during the busiest time of the year, November 29 – December 6, 2013.

The days leading up to this event presented opportunities for participants in the Center of Hope programs to make lunch delivery runs for Uno’s, earn tips, and present fundraiser coupons for the upcoming event.  Each day during the week, program members from our agency visited the restaurant and passed out general information and answered questions about the Center of Hope Foundation to restaurant patrons.

Uno’s donated twenty percent of each check’s subtotal generated with the event coupon to the Jane Baron Memorial Scholarship Fund.  Jane, a participant of the Center for many years, loved being a part of her community, attending special events and participating in a variety of trips.  Jane’s family, along with the Center of Hope, sponsors ongoing events to raise proceeds for this Memorial Scholarship Fund. It provides participants of the Center of Hope, facing financial hardship, an opportunity to take part in wonderful events and trips just as Jane had.

We would like to send a huge thank you to the staff of Uno’s Restaurant, Sturbridge, MA and to all who participated in the Center of Hope Dough Raiser Week.

Baby, it’s cold outside!  Gobble, Gobble Road Race.

Seventeen degrees Fahrenheit and thirty-nine MPH winds would keep even the most dedicated runners snuggled up under the covers, but not supporters of the Gobble, Gobble Road Race that benefits the Center of Hope Foundation’s Recreational /Special Olympics Program.  This year we had an overwhelming increase of runners lacing up their shoes to run the 1 mile fun run/walk, 5k and 10K routes located in Southbridge on November 24, 2013.  Since our first road race held in April of 2006 with 30 registered runners, we have grown to 258 participants.

Registration started at 8 a.m. in the Center of Hope’s Day Habilitation Program.  The runners didn’t want to brave the cold just yet  and took advantage of warming their bellies with Books and Beans coffee and hot chocolate, as well as checking out their goody bags donated from our event sponsors: Angel Guard, Lamoureux Ford, Metal Craft Machine, Performance Graphics, Rawson Materials, and Sid’s Auto Body.  Many also chose to add an extra layer, wearing event t-shirts printed by Performance Graphics.

This year the Center formed a new partnership with Health Source Chiropractic in Auburn, MA.  Dr. Adam Burch, with his trained and certified staff, pampered our runners before and after the race with rock tape applications, stretching assistance and chair massages.  Educational information and the opportunity to inquire about preventative health care consultations were also offered.

Where is the bull horn when you need it?  At 10 a.m., the runners huddled together to block the wind, while listening to the welcoming message and a brief reminder to the 5k runners not to turn their little jaunt into a 10K at the split of the Central/Foster Street intersection.  Every year the signs get bigger and the screams get louder ‘5k-go this way!’, and even though there is a reminder at registration and the starting line, there are always a few who change their mind and take the scenic route.

The race is professionally timed (except for the Fun Run) by Last Mile Race Management using My Laps Bibs Chips.  Medals were given out to the top three male and female finishers in all age groups and Thanksgiving turkeys to the top overall male and female finishers.  Ribbons were also given out to every fun run/walk participant.

It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces such as our families, friends, staff, and program members participate in every way they could.  Running alongside of the “Captains and Angels” of the Hoyt Team New England were many of our own Special Olympic athletes.  The Gobble, Gobble Road race raises awareness and funds for the Center of Hope’s Recreational Program, providing entrance fees, uniforms, equipment and so much more for those participating in the program.  Thank you once again to our community and all of our sponsors who make this and other events so rewarding!

The Center of Hope Foundation rolled out the “Red Carpet” for supporters of the Talents & Treasures Charity Auction. 

On Friday, November 15, 2013, the Center of Hope Foundation hosted their 13th Annual Talents & Treasures Charity Auction at The Publick House Historic Inn located in Sturbridge.  Once again Dave Peterson, also known as Peterman from his days of announcing for the Worcester Tornados, welcomed and interviewed our Legends, Icons, Celebrities and V.I.P’s on the Red Carpet.  Patrons walked along the path of the Talents & Treasures Stars displaying our sponsor’s logos in true Hollywood fashion.

A guest appearance from Finz, the Worcester Sharks mascot, reminded everyone of the upcoming “The Sharks Support The Arc”- Center of Hope Foundation Event on January 25,2014.  Over 3,000 bobble heads will showcase the Center of Hope’s logo and will be distributed at the Providence Bruins verses the Worcester Sharks game.

The Public House provided a delicious dinner and a lovely space for the evening’s silent auction event, as well as showcasing many of the live Auction items, one of which required a bit of a stage for a performance from “Poise, Style, and Motion” dance instructors, Jennifer Valois and Shaun Cianci.

“Pioneer Auction Company”, hosted by Bob Fowler and Michael Fors, focused the bidder’s attention to items such as a weekend getaway to North Conway, N.H., overnight stay packages from Courtyard by Marriott Hotel and the Hilton Garden Inn.  The biggest live auction crowd pleasers were the two roundtrip travel tickets to any domestic city donated from Jet Blue, and a very close second in the bidding war was the one week vacation to the Historic Powhatan Plantation Resort in Virginia.

The net profits generated from this event benefits over 600 families that the Center serves and many more whom are affiliated with the Center of Hope.  Since the early years of service, the Center has developed the Holiday Giving Tree Project as a way to remember, appreciate, and offer assistance to families in need during the Holidays.  Many gently used toys and gift items have been donated to be refurbished and packaged for families to pick from for their loved ones.  As the years have progressed, the benefit of designating a fundraiser, ongoing generosity from individuals and businesses, and non profits such as Toys for Tots and St. Andrews Bobola’s Church have helped our families to receive, and in some cases ask for specific items for their loved ones during this season.   Many families are requesting the bare necessities, such as food, toiletries and warm clothing for the winter, and are overjoyed when they learn they may also receive a gift item.

The Holiday Giving Tree Project would not be able to handle such a need without the generous giving of our more fortunate community members, and the continued support and participation of this particular event, the Talents & Treasures Charity Auction, as well as our many other events.  The Center of Hope Foundation cannot express enough appreciation to the personal and business communities who have been vital in the support of such programs throughout the years.

Once again, the Center of Hope Foundation would like to say thank you to all of the event sponsors and participants.