Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Annual Boston Bruins Party

For the past few years, our students anxiously await the arrival of Santa, accompanied by State Police, which means its Boston Bruins Party time. Yesterday, the excitement was high as Santa arrived in Hanover and by police escort, our students rode in buses to the TD North Center. Once there, they enjoyed lunch, music and dancing and Santa. Former Bruins players delighted our students. This picture is outside the home of our beloved Bruins and Celtics with former Bruin great Ken Hodge, my son Jon, and Frank Mendes, the former State police officer and Cushing parent,who started this holiday celebration over 20 years ago.

Friday, December 11, 2009

With Grateful Thanks

During this season of miracles, we are celebrating our own here at our Hanover campus. On last Wednesday night, right before midnight, an alert staff person smelled smoke and discovered smoke coming from the dryer. In moments, 10 students and several staff were evacuated to safety-before the alarm or the sprinkler activated. The Hanover Fire Department responded immediately and the fire was contained to the laundry room. However, there is extensive water and smoke damage on both floors and it has been estimated that it will be 1-3 months before the students can return to the house. In the meantime, they are living in other homes and everyone is doing well. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tim Shriver and my recent DC trip

I was in Washington, DC this week for a meeting of the National Down Syndrome Society about establishing priorities for disability policy. While I was there I was able to meet with Timothy Shriver, the Chairman of the Board of Special Olympics, Inc. Special Olympics is known by many as a sports training and competition program for athletes with intellectual disabilities-and here at the Cardinal Cushing Centers, we sponsor dozens of regular and unified teams each year and also offer the Young Athlete Program. However, Special Olympics is more than a sports program and among the initiatives they are leading is the elimination of the "r" word. If you want to join the campaign, take the pledge to stop the use of the work"retard" as an insult at: Here is a picture of Tim Shriver and me in front of the "get rid of the "R" word poster outside his office.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Tree Illumination and Menorah Lighting

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we are getting ready for the holiday season. Our dedicated maintenance department is already hard at work getting our Christmas display ready and the creche is already at the foot of the Portiuncula Chapel. Soon the figures will be in place and the Hanukkah menorah, a gift of the late Lenny Florence will be erected. We want to invite everyone to a lighting ceremony on Friday evening, December 11th at 6 PM, to listen to our school chorus and then enjoy some hot chocolate. It will be also be a wonderful opportunity to buy your Christmas tree from our students and to visit the Cushing Trader to do your holiday shopping. The Cushing Trader has holiday gifts in addition to our usual unique items-all made by our students and adults. There is something for everyone on your holiday list and you will be supporting the great work we do. See you on December 11th.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Dave Kartunen-Channel 7 . School Play

Yesterday, Dave Kartunen, the new weekend anchor at Channel 7 in Boston spent the day getting to know the Hanover campus. He had a busy day. He started out seeing a TRAP demonstration, marveled at students on our climbing walls, saw the motor room in use and chatted up our students in the computer lab. After visiting the Cushing Trader, where student made art, jewlery, pottery, cards and so much more is sold in a boutique enviornment, Dave had lunch with our Cape Cod Community College students. Dave shared with our students some of the highlights of his career, including interviewing Barack Obama, John McCain and Joe Biden. He talked about covering Senator Kennedy's funeral. History came alive for our students. He helped us make our own history by honoring our first group of college students by presenting each of then their own college t-shirt and ID holder. His day ended with a visit to the Iron Kettle, the on campus resturant, where students run the entire operation that is open to the community twice a month.

Today, our Hanover education students delighted family, friends and staff to a wonderful musical production of "The Cardinal Cushing School Through the Decades". Using a time machine, the students took us all on a magical journey, beginning in 1947, and ending today. The play played tribute to Cardinal Cushing's vision and the committment and dedication of the Sister's of St. Francis of Assisi. The DVD will be available soon!!! No kidding, we really will have one.

We have also begun sales of our new Christmas and Holiday card line. We are selling 6 student produced designs in packages of 12 for $10. There is a design for everyone and are available for sale at Cushing Trader.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Welcome to Cardinal Cushing Centers Blog

I wanted to create a blog where families, supporters and the people we serve could read and comment about what is happening at the Cardinal Cushing Centers.

For my first entry, I want to share with you the wonderful meeting John Boucher, Chairman of our Board and I had with Cardinal Sean O'Malley last month. The meeting was facilitated by Jim McDonough, Chancellor of the Archdiocese and a longtime supporter and former Board member. The Cardinal was very interested in our work and plans on visiting us in Hanover when his schedule permits.

Last week, I was able to see our varsity soccer team compete against the Riverview School in Cape Cod and then watch all three of our soccer teams compete in the Special Olympics Fall Tournament. Our athletes displayed great athleticism and sportsmanship.