Noella & Jack Russo Family Foundation
What started out as a simple conversation, between a barber and his customer, has now turned into a long standing passion to help a school that desperately needed everyday items to support children and their families afflicted with autism . During a haircut, Jack Russo first heard about The Burger School when his barber explained the school had limited playground equipment and dreamed of a Playscape so children could work on motor skills in a fun and inviting environment.
Burger, located in Garden City, MI was not far for Jack to travel, and while hesitant at first, his curiosity and good nature to help people led to a visit that changed his life. After spending time with the children and talking with teachers, Jack took on the challenge to provide a Playscape and approached the project like any other business goal, with enthusiasm and vigor. Jack and his family enlisted some friends they knew they could count on and by year end the Playscape was erected and in use by hundreds of thankful children; the family never looked away.
The Burger School and its children had Jack’s heart and he wanted to do more. One key ally, Larry Berman, a longtime business and personal friend of Jack’s, was so touched by the children he continues to be a committed supporter even today after Jack passed away in 2012. Since the Noella and Jack Russo Family Foundation was founded in 2011 the family continues to help the school on many levels. They sponsor annual Christmas events and year end picnics that include both students and their families. The staff at Burger is outstanding and very creative – each year the events are themed and the children get to experience fun, food and activities that make the school year a little more special .
The desire to help does not stop here - a bike path, basketball court, sensory garden, sensory room and life skills tools are a few of the enhancements made through the Russo Family and their friends.
The Foundation was proud to make a contribution in 2013 that included nine Elmo white boards to aid teaching in the classroom. The NJR Family Foundation is very grateful for all the donations and will continue to support the Burger School and Children with Autism. If you would like to contribute to the Foundation please see the information found in the NJR link below.
Transportation Club of Detroit
Womens Business Enterprise National Council
Fabricators and Manufacturers Association
Association of Women in the Metal Industries