Continuing in the holiday spirit of giving back, the Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group hosted appreciation dinners in January to honor support staff, families and friends impacted by autism. Honorees were nominated and selected for their commitment and dedication to raising awareness of autism spectrum disorder or for making a significant impact in the lives of individuals with autism.
On January 25th, Smith & Wollensky at Back Bay hosted Rick Freni and his family from Revere, Massachusetts. Rick and his wife, Jodi, founded The Little Ricky Foundation in honor of their son to raise awareness and financial support for Autism and other developmental disabilities in the community. Lisa Borgess, Executive Director for the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism joined to show her appreciation for the passion and dedication of the Freni family.
The Little Ricky Foundatio has had a great impact on the special education departments in the Revere school system by raising the funds to receive assistive technology and other supplies for special education classrooms. The foundation also supports The Friendship Club at Revere High School, a student volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-on-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Friendship Club now services over 100 students with special needs and provides over 75 general education students the opportunity to develop relationships with students with special needs. The Revere community is grateful for the tireless efforts of the Freni family to keep The Little Ricky Foundation going strong.
Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group is a proud supporter of the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. For more information on the foundation’s grants and programs, please visit www.flutiefoundation.org.