Michael Goes to the Sunshine State
Darren FUNd brings Sunshine and Smiles
“Michael really enjoyed it! He especially liked the baseball game.”
-Chad, Michael’s Alternative Care Provider
The Darren FUNd enables individuals from Pathlight’s Shared Living and Adult Family Care Programs the opportunity to have fun and memorable experiences they wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise. It was Darren’s positive attitude and never-ending smile that inspired Anne Marie and John to create the FUNd. They wanted to pay forward the overflowing love and joyfulness he brought to their lives by giving others the chance to create meaningful memories too. Plain and simple-The Darren FUNd is there to support whatever it is that makes people happy.
Over the years that happiness has taken many forms. For Michael and his Alternative Care Provider, Chad, happiness came in the form of a getaway to the Sunshine State. With the help of The Darren FUNd, the pair was able to enjoy a 4 day, 3 night trip to Ft. Myers, Florida.
As could be expected of dedicated Red Sox fans, the two made sure to attend one of their games at JetBlue Park. Aside from the excitement generated by the BoSox taking home a win over the Orioles, the boys hit the rest of their vacation out of the park as well with an amazing itinerary. They visited a reptile museum, went to the beach (a must-do activity in Florida), and went to the movies. Even back at the hotel they had fun taking frequent dips in the pool and indulged on the free continental breakfasts.
The combination of laughter, smiles, and memories that Chad and Michael garnered from their experience is what The Darren FUNd is all about. It helps others answer a resounding YES to Darren’s favorite phrase, “How ‘bout be happy!”, and furthers the rippling effect his happiness started so many years ago. Since his passing, Darren’s sunny disposition and loving spirit have manifested through the FUNd as it continues to brighten days and be a ray of sunshine to those served by Pathlight. His legacy of joy continues on.
It was Darren’s never-ending smile and happiness that filled the hearts of Anne Marie and John with joy when they welcomed him into their family. That joy led them to establish the Darren FUNd in 2007 at Pathlight.
The FUNd’s purpose is to afford others served by Pathlight’s Shared Living and Adult Family Care program opportunities that are fun and bring them joy.
Over the years, the FUNd has fulfilled this intention in a variety of ways, including vacations trips to Disney World, Arizona, and New Hampshire, therapeutic horseback riding lessons, classes at the Jewish Community Center, membership at the local YMCA, a week at Camp Horizon, music lessons, and the purchase of iPads.
Since Darren’s death in 2014 from Early Onset Alzheimer’s, the FUNd has taken on a new meaning. It is now a tribute to his life, and a way to honor his spirit.
Please join us in remembering and honoring Darren’s memory and ensuring that others will receive the gift of happiness and fun.