Plainview, New York -- Richard O'Brien was always there for The Association for Children with Down Syndrome (ACDS), whether it was serving as a banker working to get them the funding necessary to finance their group homes or supporting the organization's golf fundraisers. "We had a long-term relationship with Rich, he is someone we could always depend on," said Laurie Schaefer, development associate with ACDS.
Michael M. Smith, Executive Director of ACDS said “Rich O'Brien was our banker for many years, but our relationship went far beyond that. Rich always went the extra mile in helping ACDS, particularly in times when we needed his support most, whether it was managing our daily cash flow or arranging innovative financing for our group home on West Loines Ave. in Merrick. And Rich was always a huge supporter of our annual dinner dance and golf outings. We miss his friendship, counsel and support. He was truly one-of-a-kind.”
Rich’s legacy of giving continues, even after his untimely death in September of 2010. ACDS dedicated its May 2011 annual golf outing to Rich’s memory. In September 2011 the Richard J. O’Brien Foundation held it’s first annual golf outing and ACDS was one of the beneficiaries. On February 16, 2012 the Foundation presented a $30,000 check to ACDS to help the organization continue its mission of serving those with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities.
"We don't get big donations like this. Most are individual donations of $10, $100, maybe $1,000; for us, this is huge. This will help us bridge the gap we have with budget cuts in state funding that we rely on," said Schaefer.
The Richard J. O'Brien Foundation was formed by his family and friends to continue to support charities focusing on children in need of special care and bereavement counseling and other services. The Foundation also supports organizations dealing with children's health issues and diseases and provides financial donations to benefit individuals and families who have lost a parent.