November 19, 2019


Record Fundraising to Benefit Children with Autism and their Teachers

Southborough, Mass. – Nov. 19, 2019 – The New England Center for Children® (NECC®), a global leader in education and research for children with autism, announced today that its 2019 Children of Promise Gala achieved unprecedented fundraising results, raising over $1 million dollars.

Held on Nov. 15 at Boston’s InterContinental Hotel, nearly 500 business leaders, philanthropists, and NECC families and friends enjoyed a lively evening of awards, auctions, and stories of inspiration.

“Reaching the $1 million mark is a milestone for The New England Center for Children’s annual gala,” said Vinnie Strully, NECC’s founder and CEO.  “Thank you to those who supported the gala. Together we continue to strengthen NECC’s world-class education, research and teacher training to promote independence in children with autism.”

The funds raised will support NECC’s comprehensive autism education programs, teacher professional development, research, instructional technology, and vocational programming.

The Gala was co-chaired by Elizabeth Wetherbee Klein and Matthew Wosk and hosted by NESN’s Jenny Johnson. Among the guests were Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services, Marylou Sudders; former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis and his wife Kitty; New England Patriots sports commentator, Bob Socci; Boston 25 News anchor, Heather Hegedus; and comedian and actor Robert Smigel and screenwriter Michelle Saks Smigel. Live music from Groove Authority capped off the night.

Erland Construction, Inc. and the Erland Charitable Foundation were honored with the 2019 Community Autism Champion Award for their commitment to fundraising for autism education and research. The NECC 2019 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Award was given to Andrew Roberts for his inspiring personal and vocational achievement in sports commentating. Andrew received home-based early intervention services at NECC when he was a young child and is now a high school sophomore.  

“NECC is incredibly fortunate to have a community of supporters who contributed to the success of the 2019 Children of Promise Gala,” said Jared Bouzan, NECC Chief Development Officer. “We also celebrated the incredible work of our teaching staff, who work tirelessly to help children with autism be successful. As a parent of a child with autism, I am overjoyed to recognize the meaningful work our teachers do every day.”


About The New England Center for Children

The New England Center for Children® (NECC®) is an award-winning autism education center and research institute. Our community of teachers, researchers, and clinicians have transformed the lives of thousands of children with autism worldwide through education, research, and technology. The Center provides comprehensive services to maximize independence: home-based, day, and residential programs, partner classrooms in public school systems, consulting services, the ACE® ABA Software System (, teacher professional development, and research on educational best practices.

NECC is committed to staff professional development, partnering with local colleges to provide on-site graduate training and degrees at little to no cost to the NECC teacher. The result is a growing pool of exceptional teachers trained in best-in-class methodologies, whether they continue their careers at NECC or move on to public schools or private agencies. The New England Center for Children is based in Southborough, MA, and operates a center in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Learn more at



Michele Hart
The New England Center for Children
(508) 481-1015 x4049
[email protected]


Photo Gallery – all photos credited to Pierce Harman Photography; Step and Repeat photos credited to The New England Center for Children