Former Massachusetts Governor, Michael S. Dukakis, and Kitty Dukakis were pioneers in their early support for NECC. The Governor’s staunch support of bettering the lives of children with autism helped secure a grant that helped launch the Efficacy Research Institute, later renamed The New England Center for Autism and ultimately, The New England Center for Children. In the years since, both have remained loyal in their support for NECC. Governor Dukakis has been on NECC’s Board of Directors for several years.
The aquatic center, a favorite spot amongst so many of NECC’s students is named in Governor Michael Dukakis’ honor. Vinnie Strully, Founder and CEO, said in a 2017 Boston Globe article about Dukakis, “Without a doubt, we don’t exist in today’s form, which is having an impact on thousands of kids with autism around the world, without that first initiative.’’