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Beverly's Cummings Foundation awards grant to organization helping young adults with autism

Posted by Terri Ogan  July 26, 2013 11:15 AM

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The Cummings Foundation of Beverly has awarded a $100,000 grant to Bridgewell Inc. of Lynnfield, a leading provider of services for individuals with developmental and psychiatric disabilities . 

Through the Foundation’s new "$100K for 100" program, the organization chose Bridgewell during a competitive review process. Bridgewell accepted its official award letter at the Foundation’s first annual Grantee Reception on June 19.

The Foundation infused $10 million in $100,000 grants into Greater Boston’s nonprofit sector. The funding for Bridgewell will support the organization’s services to young adults on the autism spectrum disorder.
 
“We are thrilled to partner with Cummings Foundation to help young adults with autism build healthy and fulfilling lives,” Bob Stearns, Bridgewell president and CEO said in a recent announcement. “We thank the Foundation wholeheartedly for its leadership and generosity in supporting Bridgewell and the wider nonprofit community.”

According the a recent statement, the grant will enable Bridgewell to partner with GestureTek, a leading motion-controlled technology developer, to bring cutting edge, immersive virtual therapy to the Rosewood Drive Day Habilitation Center in Danvers, serving young adults with autism.
 
Bridgewell plans to work with GestureTek of Toronto, Canada to develop a virtual therapy system targeted specifically to young adults with autism. After an initial launch at Rosewood Drive, the product will be marketed to other providers serving young adults with autism, aiming to extend benefits well beyond Bridgewell.
 
“As the primary beneficiary of commercial real estate firm Cummings Properties, the Foundation is very committed to the 10 communities in which the firm manages buildings, as well as the hometowns of its 350 staff members," said Cummings Foundation Executive Director Joel Swets in a recent statement. "We are delighted to support Bridgewell in its admirable work in the community.”
 
GestureTek has agreed to develop a software royalty revenue share with Bridgewell and Romanelli Digital Media of Boston, which will provide marketing and product development.

Bridgewell will get a percentage of profits on all product sales. Romanelli has also agreed to donate all proceeds for the first two years from its own share back to Bridgewell. This will provide Bridgewell with a valuable source of earned income that can be reinvested into programming at Rosewood Drive and beyond, the announcement said.
 
“GestureTek is very proud of the successful results we have seen from the revolutionary, video gesture analysis and control technology, we invented for the worlds of rehabilitation and therapeutic health," Vincent John Vincent, CEO & co-founder of GestureTek, said in a recent announcement. "We are honored to be partnering with Bridgewell to bring cutting-edge therapeutic technology to the rapidly expanding population of young adults on the autism spectrum. We applaud the Cummings Foundation for making this initiative possible and hail Bridgewell’s foresight in developing with us the types of applications that could help a whole generation of those challenged by autism."

Terri Ogan can be reached at oganglobe@gmail.com, or follow her on Twitter.

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