As I posted this summer, a Southborough family has been working to raise $25,000 to get a service dog for their teenage boy with Autism, Jayson (JayJay Arroyo) Michaud. Sadly, that was further complicated in September, when Jay’s father died. Now his mother hopes that they can meet the goal by March, in time for “his first birthday without his daddy”.
As of this morning, they are 87% of the way there. Hopefully, the next fundraiser will help them make their goal.
On Friday, December 20th, Skyrise Theater will be putting on a special play in town, “Grow Bean Grow”, their musical parody of Jack and the Giant Beanstalk.
This performance is put on by SkyRise Theater staring the skyrise staff and selected students, followed by a performance by the SkyRise Rising Stars Acapella group!
The performance will be followed by an auction and raffle with all proceeds going to the cause. Pizza, dessert and drinks will also be for sale.
The event is scheduled for 6:30 -8:00 pm at Trottier Middle School. Tickets are $8 at the door.
For those of you unfamiliar with JayJay and his cause, here is why his family believes a service dog is needed:
Having a service dog would be able to support and gro Jay in ways we are not able to. This dog would go to school with him (where we do not go) keep him safe from simple things of crossing a road. A service dog would help with Jay’s “tuff” days he may have. It has been proven that a service dog can help support with language and speech. Having a service dog will be the final piece of the puzzle to support Jay on his path to adulthood.
A previous flyer lists the benefits:
- Improved language
- Calming during family outings
- Independence at school and home
- Interrupt repetitive behaviors that can interfere with his chance at learning
- Calm overstimulation
If you can’t participate in this month’s event, you can still support the cause.
A fundraising page has been setup to help meet their goal. It shares their emotional journey from learning that their toddler had autism to where they are now. Some highlights:
“Autism”? What is that? Where do I go? Who can help him? So many things run through your mind to help “fix” them. However when you stop for a second and slow down, you realize there is nothing to “fix”. This is who they are and your job number one job is to try and help, support, and guide them along the way. You learn to appreciate the “little” things in life. . .
They described how they faced challenges by setting and working towards a single goal, meeting it and setting the next one:
This is how we approach everything that we find to be a hurdle. Jayson has shown time and time again that anything be overcome with hard work!
Jayson is now 16 years old and continues to impress us on a daily basis. All those hopes and dreams you had before can still exist, just in a way you never thought was possible!
The non-profit SDWR (Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers) is helping the family achieve this next goal. The fundraiser donates money to SDWR with funds earmarked for JayJay’s dog. The organization states:
Each type of service dog is hand raised by SDWR staff and volunteers to mold it into a life-saving tool for each of our families in need. We promote a high level of interaction between the dog, the recipient family and our training staff to create an environment of success. Unlike other service dog programs, SDWR takes the next step in providing a solid base between a service dog and the recipient.
Your donation goes to the placement and growth of more life-saving service dogs.
SDWR is a fully incorporated 501(c)3 non-profit organization and most all donations are tax deductible. . . Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers helps families find local resources to help offset the costs associated with the training of a service dog. All donations go to the placement of service dogs and the needs of our mission.
To learn more or make a contribution, click here. Checks can also be made out to SWDR with the memo “In honor of the Arroyo family”.
You can also use the QR code right.