Page 11 - Southington Magazine Holiday 2019
P. 11

PG’s& Friends
by Donna Tuttle The dream will come true with the opening of The challenge of PG’s & friends. It will be navigating a young located at Paul Gregory’s adult with special-needs on 148 Center Street in through everyday life is the heart of downtown simultaneously demanding Southington. Hearing and rewarding. Once they about Donna’s vision, have completed their Theresa and Ashley Malloy, high school transition owners of Paul Gregory’s, programs, life skills have generously offered training and employment their restaurant to make
are essential in order to this dream come true. succeed and have a full Theresa and Ashley life. When Emma Tuttle have prior experience began seeking training managing and training and employment at 19, her young adults with mom was passionate about Down syndrome at the seeing Emma flourish. Fort Adams State Park
 Emma, the youngest of
Ed and Donna Tuttle’s four
daughters, has Down syndrome, and she has been a joy to her family, friends, and everyone who knows her. Through a friend, Donna found out about BeanZ and Company Cafe in Avon. Soon after visiting, Emma was hired in February, 2019. Kim Morrison, co-founder of BeanZ, employees a number of special needs young adults in her coffee shop. Their slogan: “Everyone Belongs.”
Emma has been very active in the Southington Community Cultural Arts’ (SoCCA) All Access program, exercises regularly at the YMCA, and often helps Donna when she works at Bread for Life. As a result, people in the Southington community began to hear about Emma’s job experience at BeanZ, and something wonderful began to happen.
Over and over the question was asked “Why don’t we have something like that here in Southington?” Feeling this was a call to something more than just finding Emma a job, Donna began developing a vision for creating a similar opportunity here in town. After reading about and visiting two other coffee shops in Connecticut that have the same mission and vision, Donna was determined to create a similar employment opportunity in Southington.
concessions stands
in Rhode Island. Fort Adams was a part of the Maher Center, a non- profit organization that believes that adults with developmental disabilities should be recognized as valuable, contributing community members, and have the opportunity to live, work, and play in an integrated community setting. Ashley was involved with Unified Sports and Special Olympics while she attended Berlin High School and is passionate about and devoted to working with these young adults. Both Theresa and Ashley truly believe in this mission and are blessing our town by taking special needs adults into their restaurant and giving them on-the- job training during their regular afternoon business hours. All tips will go to the employees. This is another way Theresa is helping and encouraging the
special-needs community.
The mission of PG’s & friends is to cultivate
growth and greater independence for young adults with developmental disabilities through employment at a community centered business.
• GROWTH: achieving personal growth through real-life accomplishments, accepting correc- tion, finding the gift in one’s limitations, and earning a paycheck.

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