It was 44 years ago when Sister Helen Dowd of the Sisters of St. Joseph decided a school for children with autism and similar disabilities needed a school to meet their needs. And so the Intensive Education Academy was begun, a private, non-profit, non-sectarian, state approved school for learning disabled children in grades K though 12.
And on Saturday, its success over more than four decades was celebrated at the annual “STARS, An Evening of Celebration” gala and fundraiser.
“It is always wonderful to see the turnout and how many people support us,” said Sister Dowd. “We worried when we lost five or six of our best supporters last year but then eight new ones came on board. You have to just trust that things will work out.”
Veteran radio personality Brad Davis, along with WFSB personality Scot Haney once again shared emcee and auction duties at the gala held at Tumble Brook Country Club in Bloomfield.
“I remember how Brad first started helping us,” recalled Sister Dowd. “The school’s auxiliary was looking for a speaker for its tea and asked Brad,” she said. “He said ‘yes’ and then he was with us forever.”