P.R.I.D.E. Celebrates 10th Year Anniversary!
A Promise to Parents for the Future of their Adult Children with Special Needs

See our P.R.I.D.E. client profiles:

  • Robby Brooks, Chatham school graduate
  • Dani Paino, Ho-Ho-Kus school graduate
  • Cori Foreit, Chatham school graduate
  • Benny Sims, Chatham school graduate
  • Billy Murphy, Chatham school graduate
  • Sylvia Toll, Chatham school graduate
P.R.I.D.E. anniversary The original P.R.I.D.E. clients continue to learn, grow and enjoy the camaraderie of their friends every day!

September 2008 P.R.I.D.E. (Promoting Responsibility Independence Decision-making Employability), opens to give a small group of ECLC graduates pre-vocational training, independent living skills and more. Program quickly reaches capacity with 31 clients!
2009 Plans are underway to expand the P.R.I.D.E. Center and start a part-time P.R.I.D.E. Evening Program (P.E.P.).
October 2010 P.R.I.D.E. expands into additional rooms! A Pig Roast hosted by Richard and Katherine Gatward raises $80,000 to support the purchase of two vans for clients to venture into the community.
April 2011 New Jersey's First Lady Mary Pat Christie visits P.R.I.D.E. and meets with clients and parents to highlight the innovative work being done by organizations throughout the state to serve people with disabilities.
September 2011 Destructive Hurricane Irene hits and floodwaters rise to the front door of the P.R.I.D.E. Center, but, miraculously, do not flow into the building.
October 2011 The Bergen P.R.I.D.E. Center opens at a temporary location in a synagogue. Between the two locations, P.R.I.D.E. now enrolls 80 clients!
May 2012 A permanent home opens in Paramus for Bergen P.R.I.D.E.! The new location is in a secure, standalone building. It is a short drive to the Ho-Ho-Kus school and nearby retail outlets, offering job and volunteering possibilities for clients.
November 2012 P.R.I.D.E. is serving more than 100 clients with special needs.
April 2013 The new Bergen P.R.I.D.E. Center in Paramus is officially inaugurated. A ribbon-cutting ceremony features New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and other officials.
July 2013 ECLC hosts Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) for a press conference calling for federal funding to support young adults with special needs after they graduate from high school.
September 2013 To meet the continued demand for placement in P.R.I.D.E., ECLC kicks off a major capital campaign to raise $450,000 for the expansion and renovation of the Morris P.R.I.D.E. Center.
January 2014 The generous Toby Cooperman, who was a Learning Disability Teacher Consultant (LDTC) at the Chatham school, and her husband, financier Leon, give a huge $125,000 matching grant toward the capital campaign.
April 2014 In a few months, the capital campaign is over! ECLC successfully raises $450,000 to expand and renovate the Morris P.R.I.D.E. Center. Major donors include: the Coopermans, Carol and Steve Lampf, Richard and Katherine Gatward, Judy and Billy Greenblatt, Howard and Debby Kaminsy and Richard and Robin Pzena.
October 2014 Thanks to the generosity of donors, the new P.R.I.D.E. Morris Center for adult clients with special needs is open for business. The facility is transformed into a bright and cheerful center with activity rooms, a teaching kitchen and a model apartment, plus more space for the pre-vocational training center. A grand opening celebration draws elected officials, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, State Senator and former Gov. Richard Codey, Morris County Freeholder Deputy Director David Scapicchio, Morris County Freeholder Kathryn DeFillippo and Florham Park Mayor Mark Taylor.
December 2014 The Board of Trustees launches the Renee and Bruce Litinger and Family P.R.I.D.E. Endowment. The goal is to raise $5 million to ensure the future of P.R.I.D.E., and protect against declining government funding.
August 2015 Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) returns to the Bergen P.R.I.D.E. Center to announce that the Autism CARES Act of 2014 is the law of the land! This bill reauthorizes federal funding for autism and expands provisions of the previous law, with a total of $1.3 billion in dedicated funds over the next five years.
October 2015 Leon and Toby Cooperman step up again! The couple generously pledge to give a $250,000 challenge grant to support the P.R.I.D.E. Endowment campaign.
October 2016 Grants start rolling in! Investors Bank Foundation gives a $5,000 grant to purchase desktop computers and laptops for the Morris P.R.I.D.E. Center.
November 2016 The Hyde & Watson Foundation gives a $4,375 grant for computers to the Morris P.R.I.D.E. Center.
January 2017 The P.R.I.D.E. Endowment Campaign hits $1 million!
June 2017 The Summit Area Public Foundation donates $4,400 for shredders at the Morris P.R.I.D.E. Center.
August 2017 The Bergen P.R.I.D.E. Center receives a $5,000 grant from Columbia Bank for shredders.
Today Nearly 170 adults with special needs are served by P.R.I.D.E. The program is bringing tremendous joy and enrichment to these adults every day and peace of mind to their parents!