For Immediate Release

Easterseals Massachusetts Awarded $250,000 Grant from Yawkey Foundation to Expand Access for Individuals with Disabilities

Worcester, MA, August 16, 2023

Media Contact:
Charlene Leith

Strategic Investment Grant in support of inclusive programs at The Bridge Center in Bridgewater, Mass.

WORCESTER, Mass. –  Easterseals Massachusetts (ESMA) was awarded a $250,000 grant from the Yawkey Foundation to expand services for individuals with disabilities in Bridgewater, Mass., and surrounding communities.

The Bridge Center is a 22-acre campus that provides year-round adaptive and inclusive recreation and equine-assisted programs. After having closed in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19, ESMA merged with The Bridge Center in the fall of 2022 with a plan to restore the property and expand services, including Early Intervention and preschool. ESMA is committed to implementing a strong continuum of services that will establish an engaged client base from birth to adulthood.

The Strategic Investment Grant will support capital renovation and restoration projects at The Bridge Center, such as a roof for the equestrian center, a swim complex and splash pad, and a tractor. All facility projects include upgrades for safety, security, and accessibility.

“We feel so honored to have been chosen by the Yawkey Foundation, and that they believe in our vision for inclusive programing at The Bridge Center,” said Paul Medeiros, ESMA President and CEO.  “This funding will allow us to complete some much-needed repairs while also making the property even more safe and accessible for our participants.”  

ESMA has been a leader in disability services for nearly 80 years and is known for its expertise in rehabilitation, assistive technology, youth services, Veteran's services, employment and transition services, and disability advocacy.

“We commend Easterseals Massachusetts for the important work they are doing in our community,” said Maureen H. Bleday, CEO and Trustee of the Yawkey Foundation. “During their lifetimes, Tom and Jean Yawkey were dedicated to ensuring that people of all abilities had access to resources to fulfill their aspirations, and we are delighted that Easterseals is bringing that commitment to life through this expansion at The Bridge Center.”

About Easterseals Massachusetts

Easterseals is leading the way to full equity, inclusion, and access through life-changing disability and community services.

For more than 75 years, Easterseals Massachusetts has worked tirelessly with their partners to enhance quality of life and expand local access to healthcare, education, and employment opportunities. And they won’t rest until every one of us is valued, respected, and accepted.

Each year, Easterseals Massachusetts provides 22,000 essential services to more than 10,000 individuals throughout the state and is well-known for their expertise in rehabilitation, assistive technology, youth services, Veteran’s services, employment and transition services, and disability advocacy. They pride themselves on empowering people with disabilities to live full and independent lives and be equal participants in society. More information is available at and by following @EastersealsMA on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About Yawkey Foundation

The Yawkey Foundation is dedicated to perpetuating the philanthropic legacy of Tom Yawkey and Jean Yawkey, whose eight decades of quiet generosity supported individuals and families in the communities that were closest to their hearts – Massachusetts and Georgetown County, South Carolina. Having awarded more than $550 million to date in charitable grants to organizations focused on health care, education, human services, youth and amateur athletics, arts and culture, and conservation and wildlife, the Yawkey Foundation is committed to preserving and sustaining the charitable values of the Yawkeys by investing in nonprofits that provide resources, opportunity, and dignity to the vulnerable and underserved.  

For more information, please visit, or follow them on LinkedInTwitter, and Facebook for the latest announcements. 

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