August 2, 2023

Every August, more than 10,000 runners line up at the start of the 51st Falmouth Road Race in Woods Hole on Cape Cod. For nearly two decades, 15 of those runners have been members of Team NECC – individuals running on behalf of the students with autism at The New England Center for Children (NECC).

These runners—a mix of NECC staff, family, and friends—have spent the last three months training for the iconic 7-mile seaside course while raising funds and awareness for the students at NECC. This year, six NECC teachers will be running for their students; three runners will honor family members who are current or former NECC students; and six others will run in support of the mission.

One of those running for family is Stephanie Carlin, who is participating in her ninth Falmouth Road Race in honor of her son, Elliot, who has been a student at NECC for the last 15 years.  “I run the Falmouth Road Race each year to honor his resilience and to support his incredible school,” she shared. “NECC has been a constant source of education, family support and frankly, love over the past 15 years. The amount of dedication and hard work that the team at NECC pours into each child is incredible and shows in the remarkable progress Elliot has made over the years.”

Elliot is a nonverbal student in NECC’s residential program and relies upon his iPad and vocal approximations for communication. “Language development has been a painstaking and often frustrating process for all of us who deeply love Elliot,” Carlin wrote. “Each year the NECC staff finds creative and innovative ways to teach him new language and skills. The mindset at NECC is that there is no limit on what they can provide kids like Elliot to open the world to them.”

Money raised by NECC’s runners for the 51st Falmouth Road Race directly benefits the students through the Annual Fund, which covers costs for technology, vocational programming, off-site trips, extracurricular activities like art, music, and the pool, and much more!

You can help support their fundraising efforts by donating to their individual profiles, which can be found on the NECC Falmouth Donation Page.

 Meet NECC’s 2023 Falmouth Road Race team members:

Stephanie Carlin, NECC parent; Sudbury, MA

Matthew Cuneo, NECC friend; Framingham, MA

Oliver Ferrari, NECC friend; Dover, MA

Carrie Johnson, NECC staff; Somerville, MA

Joy Kucinkas, NECC staff; Reading, MA

Brielle Laliberte, NECC friend; Dorchester, MA

Samara Laliberte, NECC friend; Reading, MA

Kiah Lyons, NECC staff; Natick, MA

Julia Paladino, NECC staff; Wellesley, MA

Howie Rock, NECC uncle; Reading, MA

Jeff Ruscitti, NECC friend; Northborough, MA

Jenna Shields, NECC friend; Burlington, MA

Patrick Story, NECC Staff; Natick, MA

Elizabeth Storey, NECC staff; Brookline, MA

Elizabeth Tso, NECC sibling; New York, NY