On Friday, December 14, 2012, our beautiful daughter, Josephine Grace Gay, was killed in an unimaginable tragedy at her elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Joey, many of her friends, teachers, and school staff members were taken from our loving community. Joey turned 7 three days prior to this tragedy and was looking forward to celebrating at her birthday party with many of these friends the next day.

Your contribution to Joey’s Fund enabled us to celebrate the love, hope, and kind spirit of our little girl by providing grants for families with children with autism. It was an honor to be entrusted along with the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism as stewards of Joey’s Fund and to award 14 grants totaling close to $80,000 to families of autistic children in our first grant cycle. These grants were used to provide an adaptive bicycle, aqua-therapy, specialized summer camps, equine therapy, ABA therapy, college transition programming, and financial relief from medical bills for our families.

For more information about Joey's Fund grants, please click here.

It was sheer joy to award the grants to these wonderful children and families and even more exciting to read their success stories! With your continued support, we look forward to the next grant cycle of Joey’s Fund in February of 2014, where we will expand the program to serve all of New England. It is our hope to continue to grow the serving area of the program in the future.

"We recently purchased an adapted tricycle for our daughter with our Joey's Fund grant and presented her with the tricycle on her 13th birthday in October as a special gift from Joey. She took her first ride right away under the flood lights in our driveway on the night of her birthday. Her sisters excitedly danced around her to see her ride a bike all by herself, and all the adults cheered as we wiped the tears from our eyes. We are hoping to take our first family ride together at a local bicycle trail. Come spring and summer, we are confident that our daughter's new tricycle will open up a whole new avenue for our family to enjoy time together and with our community. Thank you!”

With Joey’s birthday falling only a few days before the anniversary of her death, many have asked us how we plan to spend these days. Although we miss her terribly each day, we will celebrate the life and spirit of our extraordinary, autistic child and carry on working in her name.

In honor of our daughter’s birthday, we invite you to celebrate her life and legacy. Please tie a purple balloon (or a bouquet) outside your home, office, or place of business on December 11th. You can also visit this link and participate in our Purple Balloon Fundraiser. Here you can buy a virtual balloon for $10 to share with your friends online and encourage them to do the same.

Please help us continue to support beautiful children like Joey in celebration of the precious gift she will always be to us.

Happy birthday, Joey! We love you!

Thank you for your continued support of our family and Joey’s Fund,

Michele, Bob, Sophie, and Marie Gay

How to donate:

On the donation page please select "in Memory of" and type "Joey's Fund" in the box for "acknowledgement/address and comments". Donate HERE.

By Mail:
Send checks payable to:
The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation.
Specify "In Memory of Josephine Gay" on the check.

Mailing address:
The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism
PO Box 767
Framingham, MA 01701

For media inquiries please call 202-540-2378