Doug Flutie has been in the news lately and the attention has nothing to do with football. The former Natick High School and Boston College star quarterback is currently competing on TV’s “Dancing With the Stars,” tripping the light fantastic with professional dancer Karina Smirnoff.
The two took time off from the competition last week to attend the 3rd annual “A Night to Shine” gala at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. The event, held to benefit the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, was hosted by Flutie and his wife Laurie – their son Doug Jr. has autism - during which the foundation’s programs and success stories were highlighted.
The gala also honored three members of Flutie Spectrum Enterprises LLC (FSE), a Framingham-based foundation program that strives to employ young adults with autism. This year Justin Daigle, Billy Paquette, both of Framingham, and Joey Chow of Randolph, were recognized.
“I am very proud of the young men and women who are now in the workforce,” said Doug Flutie. “They are the reason we work so hard, to be sure all people on the autism spectrum have the opportunity to be the best they can be and contribute to the community."
FSE was founded last year “to create employment for adults with autism and to provide quality services to alleviate the stress of small businesses,” said Brittany Collins, FSE’s managing director. “We are starting inside the Flutie Foundation office to establish FSE Office Solutions as a viable business and save money before we explore renting our own space.”
FSE Office Solutions provides mailing, shredding, assembly and other related services to small businesses in the local area.
“Our goal is to have a portfolio of micro-businesses based on the skills and interests of our employees,” said Collins.
Like the Flutie Foundation, FSE is a nonprofit. “Employees come to work with their job coaches as needed,” Collins continued. “As a social enterprise, Flutie Spectrum Enterprises seeks to find the balance between generating profit and fulfilling its mission to employ adults with autism. Services are priced competitively, regardless of how many hours we pay employees to complete the task.”