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Update on the French family triplets and their sister. Read Vincent French's letter.

Letter from a former Wednesday's Child
Jack & Marci,
Hi, my name is Marcie Taylor Ambrose (Born Marcie Sue Taylor, Adopted Marcie Taylor Malloy), my brothers and I were featured on Wednesday's child in 1990 (I think, either that or 89'). Barbara Shaw and Donald Malloy saw us on Wednesday's Child in Sturbridge Village and said, "that's them!! more


Jack Williams named an Angel in Adoption by Congress after being nominated by
Senator Ted Kennedy
The award is from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute
letter | Kennedy nomination

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Since Jack created Wednesday’s Child in 1981 he and his wife Marci have raised millions of dollars to help special needs adoption and to support group homes who are taking care of these children. Last year again the Jack and Marci Williams Endowment for Wednesday’s Child gave grants of $350,000 to group homes and special needs agencies in New England.


40 YEARS AGO, A GREAT IDEA WAS BORN
Jump to Part 2: History of Wednesday’s Child
Jump to Part 3: Welcome to the real-world Jack
Jump to Part 4: The awakening

In 1981, Marci and I wanted to do something to help special needs children.  I had been surprised to discover how many thousands of children were in state care; given up by their families or taken away because of abuse and neglect.  Most had been placed with foster families or were living in large group homes.  Most remained with no permanent families until they were released on their own at age 18.

I proposed we place these children on WBZ-TV during a weekly segment on our 6:00 news.  At first, the idea was opposed by most social workers, fearful that that these children would be used in a rating game with no direct accountability.

I said I would personally be responsible by doing the segments, including the taping, writing and editing.  If there was a perceived problem, they could talk to me directly.  I categorically refused, however, to decide which child would appear on TV that week, nor was I to be connected what-so-ever to who would be selected as the best parents for that child or children.

An agreement was reached: I would be responsible for the TV side and would do the tapings and editing and writing on my own time (coming in early).  Social workers would be able to do their demanding jobs with no interference from me.  Since the segment would appear every Wednesday on the 6:00 news, we would call it Wednesday’s Child.
 
Up next: the experiment begins and a big surprise.


Part 2 - History of Wednesday’s Child

In the late summer of 1981, we started on our journey to try to find adoptive homes for all the thousands of special needs kids in state care in Massachusetts. No one, not even me, knew how it would turn out.
Continue reading full story


Part 3 - Welcome to the real-world Jack


The first several tapings were fun, and I must admit, quite easy. “Not so tough,” I thought. Everything changed two months later when I met Timmy. I was told by his social worker to meet me at an office building, third floor in downtown Boston on Boylston Street. When I arrived with my cameraman at the appointed hour, I was met by the social worker, standing in a hallway with her hands clasped behind her, holding on to the doorknob. “Well,” she said, “I want you to keep an open mind because Timmy is a little different.” I thought how bad could it be with a little seven-year-old? As soon as I opened the door, I heard a combination scream and moan and then the thump of a little head slamming against the wall. Continue reading full story

Part 4 - The awakening

More on Timmy:
I was disappointed with my efforts, thinking the edited piece was less than compelling to potential adoptive parents. All I had was a little boy hunched over a microphone babbling incoherently. I did add the voice of the social worker explaining Tim’s requirements. In my opinion, at the time, the Wednesday’s Child segment was not very compelling.

After we ran the piece, I called Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange to see if anyone had called. There had been a few who social workers could check out. Later I found out that one of the calls had been a match. The couple eventually adopted Tim. After about one year I asked the social worker if I could visit the adoptive home and see who these people were and how Tim was doing. Continue reading full story

 


SPAULDING ADADEMY TURNS 150

The facility is located in Northfield, NH and has been a recipient of grants from the Jack and Marci Williams Endowment for Wednesday’s Child.  Marci and I have toured the facility and we are big fans.  They recently opened Wednesday House, for children who are temporarily without shelter.  For more information, go to SpauldingServices.org.


Remembering the beginnings of
Wednesday's Child



Wyman Cannon

In 1981 Wyman Cannon was one of the first children to find a loving home through Jack Williams Wednesday's Child. He sent this letter to Jack to say Thank You. Letter from Wyman



“We look at the world once, in childhood.

The rest is memory.”

Louise Gluck



Jack and Marci have retired but still send over $325,000 a year to group homes in New England.

 
Jack Williams
 
Marci Williams

 


2020 grant checks from Wednesday’s Child have been sent.

Once again the Jack and Marci Williams Endowment for Wednesday’s Child has kept with its pledge to continue to support special needs adoption in New England.  Recipients include the Williams Center at St. Ann’s Home, St. Ann’s Home, Walker School and Home, The Italian Home, Spaulding Home in New Hampshire, Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange, CASA of Boston, CASA of Worcester, The Diane DeVanna Center, and Bamsi of Brockton.  Over the years, Marci and Jack have raised millions of dollars for the charity, much of it coming from the yearly ski race at Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, which continued for 30 years and received tremendous support from Wendy’s and Volvo. Individuals still give donations, including for the In Memory featured on this website.

Covid 19 has had a significant impact on group homes and has added challenges in keeping these children healthy.  But we believe better times are ahead and “this too shall pass.”



IL CAPRICCIO RESTAURANT CLOSES

Critics rated this gem one of the tops restaurants in Boston for years. Located on MainStreet in Waltham, it was miles away from the bustling nightlife of Boston and the waterfront. But, diners from throughout Eastern Massachusetts flocked to its doors for the Northern Italian menu and unique wines (many from Italy).

Rich Barron had a master’s touch with the cuisine. Initially he had teamed up with Jeannie Rogers (a sommelier who travelled regularly to the vineyards of Northern Italy and became friends with the winemakers).

But the real reason behind my sorrow over the loss of a great restaurant is the quiet support for Wednesday’s Child, a support which raised millions of dollars over the years for special needs adoption. Jeannie and Richie approached Marci and me after one of our regular visits for dining and said they wanted to do something to help these children. We decided on a yearly dinner with the food and wine provided at cost. (read full story)


Longtime friend and former Volunteer of the Year for Wednesday’s Child – Meteorologist Barry Burbank -- is retiring after 42 years at WBZ-TV.


Over the years Barry raised tens of thousands of dollars for Wednesday’s Child by donating all of his speaking fees and contributions from his school lectures. To read the full story please visit CBS Boston.

 


REMEMBERING THOSE YOU LOVE

For years, supporters of Wednesday's Child and special needs adoption have urged their relatives and friends to give a contribution to Wednesday's Child in lieu of sending flowers. Contributions can be sent to Wednesday's Child, PO Box 136, Weston, MA 02493. Names of the loved one who passed and the donors appear on this website.

In memory of Francine Small of Plymouth

  Donations in her name given by:
Marcia Pendleton and
Lloyd Harte
Gretchen and Ed Ecclestone of Norwell
Elizabeth Lamphier of Marshfield Hills
Caldwell Clax, Janice and Nancy
Sally and Jim Stewart
Daryl and Tim Karr and Eric Barb
Gail and Paul Johnson
Claudia Hackett of Arlington Texas
Scott and Karen Shoup of Sewickley, PA.


Full donors list





$350,000 Given in Grants

“Once again in 2019, $350,000 in grants were given to group homes in New England. Through the Jack and Marci Williams Endowment for Wednesday’s Child, the money is a continuing thank you to the people of our beloved New England.”



Mark and Muriel Dickinson and Ralph and Mia Yohe, who are friends from Braintree, join Jack and Marci for lunch in Las Vegas. The two couples were active in the Dianne DeVanna Center and big supporters of Wednesdays Child. They were in town to watch the Pac 12 basketball tournament.


40 years since tragedy caught Jack's attention:


There was something about the story that haunted me immediately: an eleven year old girl beaten to death by her father and step mother only a day after a judge ordered her return to her father's care.  Her name was Dianne DeVanna.  She had been tied to the rafters upside down and beaten to death with a bread board.  Jack went to Braintree to cover the tragedy, the first of many trips there to update the investigation.  He and Marci contributed money to help buy the little girl a headstone.  Later the Dianne DeVanna Center was founded and the Williams' contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.

The fall of 2018 in Braintree people jammed the town hall to remember what had been done in Dianne's name.  The event was hosted by Braintree Mayor Joseph Sullivan and Jack and Marci Williams were the featured speakers.  Forty years of success stories were shared and once again people vowed to not let the world forget about this precious little girl.

Marci said she too was haunted by the story and encouraged Jack to keep on it.  Jack said it was a big reason why Wednesdays Child was started three years later.



A Quiet Friend of Wednesday's Child Who Made A Tremendous Difference:

When Claire Bogrette died last year, Wednesday's Child was notified by her attorneys that the bulk of her estate was to be given to help special needs children through the Jack and Marci Williams Endowment for Wednesday's Child. The largest amount came from the sale of her house in Westwood. It amounts to several hundred thousand dollars for the charity.

Though neither he nor Marci had ever met Claire, this kind and quiet woman decided she wanted to make a difference. Over the years she had followed the progress of Wednesday's Child and her heart went out to these children who face life alone, without families.

Both Marci and I and our entire board are overwhelmed by her generosity.

Each year the Endowment gives over $350,000 in grants to group homes in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

In 2015, St. Ann's Home in Methuen named a new $7-million building on the campus in honor of Jack and Marci Williams. The facility and staff work with some of the children who face the most challenges in helping them develop a healthy life with a loving adoptive family.

Jack Williams

February 2018

Wednesday's Child loses two dear friends:
 
Less than five months after his beloved wife Daphne died, Tom Corcoran died tonight after being hospitalized today. He had stage 4 liver cancer. Tom and Daphne hosted 30 fundraising events at Waterville Valley and were instrumental in getting Volvo as a major sponsor for Wednesday's Child. In all they helped us raise almost $10-million for special needs adoption.

I saw Tom at last week's memorial for Daphne. He knew how much we all loved and appreciate them both. I spoke at the memorial.

Jack

6/27/17

Daphne Corcoran died at home February 11, 2017 in South Carolina, where they moved after all those fabulous decades in Waterville Valley, NH. They were our neighbors and we had a ball with them, traveling extensively, sailing, skiing and raising hell. On the more sedate side, Daphne and Tom, as owners of Waterville Valley, helped us to raise millions for Wednesday's Child with our 30 years of the Wednesday's Child ski race. She was always full of life and was one of the best entertainers I have ever met.
She never tired of throwing a party, fixing a meal, lighting a fire or having a drink or two. Then it was on to sleigh rides, late night cross country skiing, or rowing ashore from the Snowdance in some Maine harbor to find more fun and giggles. She was just a little thing and she and Tom made a near perfect couple.
 
Thank you Daphne and Tom.




St. Ann's Names a Building
After Marci and Jack

St. Ann's in Methuen is a leader in the care of special needs children and helping them find adoptive homes. Hundreds of Wednesday's Children came from this marvelous facility.

The new building will serve as the base for their community based acute treatment. It will be known as the Jack and Marci Williams building on the Methuen campus. (read more)

Here's the link to the addendum giving more details about the dedication ceremony on June 3rd.

Jack & Marci Williams at the dedication ceremony in early June.

 

New England Council Honors
Jack Williams
Jack Williams was honored as a 2015 “New Englander of the Year” by the New England Council.
The award is in recognition of his remarkable career as one of our region’s most respected television news anchors, as well as his tireless work to help children find adoptive families through Wednesday’s Child. Read the letter here!


THE JOY OF GIVING

2015 Wednesday Child grants have been sent totalling $455,000!

Also, Marci and I are proud that we were ahead of the curve when we established a scholarship at the University of Oregon with preference given for students who have benefitted from adoption or foster family care services.  It is fully funded and will continue in perpetuity.  In the latest Oregon Quarterly there is a lengthy article on former foster kids who have prospered at the University of Oregon.  Our scholarship was established with personal funds and has no ties with the Jack and Marci Williams Endowment for Wednesday's Child (which focuses on group homes in New England looking after special needs kids awaiting adoptive homes).



THANKS FOR YOUR GENEROSITY

Wed Child Board Members Susan Petersen and Tom Warden--$2,000
Paul and Mary Brough--$1,000
Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians--$255 (in memory of Doris Ratuse--a longtime Wed Child supporter)
Norman Weill--$200
Jeanette and Conrad Fagone--$200
Millie Maziarski --$200
William and Kathleen Casey -- $100
Williams McCarthy -- $100
Susan LeMoine --$100
Karen Dutton--$100
Forrest Trenholm--$25
Roberta MCDermott--$25


FITNESS CHALLENGE A BIG SUCCESS!
More than 600 very fit athletes from all over Southern New England gathered at Gillette Stadium in late September for a tremendous event. Wednesday's Child is one of four charities to benefit from the money raised. Many thanks to Metro Swat for putting on the event and thinking of special needs kids.

Metro SWAT Officers and Their Wives Join
Marci and Jack

Final plans were made for the Fitness Challenge at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, organized and run by elite members of the Metro Swat team. Key members joined with Marci and Jack for a planning dinner. Attending were; Chris Soffayer, Toni Manzon, Jason Brennan, Carly Brennan, Chris Baker, Leeanne Baker, Eric Copeland, Annie Copeland. Information can be found at nefc2014.com
The date was the night of September 27th-28th.




 



Barry Burbank Given Wednesday's Child
Volunteer Award

Meteorologist Barry Burbank of WBZ-TV was given the Ruthie Antonides Volunteer Award for 2014 after giving all of his speech money to Wednesday’s Child.  Over the years it has amounted to tens of thousands of dollars.  Barry praised the school children who wanted to help Wednesday’s Child and raised money with bake sales, giving up their allowances and other events.  Barry has been visiting schools for years, getting youngsters interested in meteorology.  Barry has been a top talent at WBZ TV for 37 years.

Ruthie Antonides was a volunteer for 24 years at the annual Jack Williams Ski Race for Wednesday’s Child.  She died of cancer but her last thoughts were of the kids who need adoptive homes.



In Honor / In Memory Donations

In recognition of Ava Lecompte's adoption, contributions were made to Wednesday's Child by:
Melanie Allen of Dorcester
John Fransoza of Brighton
Mark and Julie LeCompte
Suzanne Sullivan of Arlington
Emily Mitchell of Bedford
John Fransoza of Brighton
Mark and Julie LeCompte


In recognition of Ava LeCompte's birthday, contributions were made to Wednesday's Child by:
Angela Sanchez of North Grafton
Melissa Bradley of Newton.

In Memory of William Payne a contribution was made by:
Ginny Birmingham of Cambridge

Please visit In Memory page for more.


THANKS KIDS!

They wanted to do something for Wednesday’s Child:

5th graders at the Horace Mann School in Newton held a bake sale for Wednesday’s child and raised $391.86.

In Worcester, at the Columbus Park Prep Academy, they donated their allowances for two months and sent Wednesday’s Child a check for $300.



Wendy's Customers Raise $180,000
For Wednesday's Child!

Another successful year for the Wendy's Wednesday's Child coupon campaign.  Jack was on hand in Westford, MA. Tuesday, March 25th, at the Wendy's managers rally.  He was given a check for $180,000 for Wednesday's child, the amount raised by customers buying $1 coupon books at Wendy's stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Over the years, Wendy's has raised more than $3-million for Wednesday's Child.


Wednesday’s Child 33rd year! 

Photo by: Rick MacComber

Here, Jack takes 6 year old Donnie to Ironstone Farm in
Andover to tape a segment.  Wednesday’s Child is seen
every Wednesday’s night on the 6:00 news on WBZ-TV.



CONGRATULATIONS!
Jack & Marci Williams were selected by the Board of Trustees and Board of Directors to receive Spaulding Youth Center’s 9th annual You’ve Got a Friend Award, presented Oct. 17th 2013 at their 55th annual celebration.



Continuing a proud tradition of recognizing people or groups that have made Waterville Valley Resort the very special place it is, the 2nd annual Waterville Valley Hall of Fame induction awards ceremony and dinner took place on Saturday, April 6th at the Waterville Valley Conference Center.

The 2013 class of inductees included honorees that have had a significant and long term impact on the legacy of Waterville Valley.
Jack and Marci Williams, hosted the Jack Williams Race for Wednesday’s Child for the last 27 years. read more

Remarks by Tom Corcoran at the Induction of Marci and Jack Williams into the Waterville Valley Hall of Fame - April 5, 2013


Many thanks to
Yankee Magazine

for another year of helping
Wednesday's Child!



Ann Finucane with John Collins

ANN FINUCANE; SPECIAL FRIEND OF WEDNESDAY’S CHILD
Over the years Ann Finucane has helped raise money for Wednesday’s Child and special needs adoption.  Ann, an official at Bank of America, had directed contributions from Bank of America as well as other sources to help provide care and eventually adoptive homes for these children.  She has done so quietly, with dignity and compassion.  She is shown in the picture with John Collins a member of the Wednesday’s Child board and treasurer of the Jack and Marci Williams Endowment for Wednesday’s Child. 


The 30th Anniversary of Wednesday’s Child Celebration at Jordan’s Furniture in Reading with Jack & Marci Williams - Slide Show
 

Volvo

Wendy's

Yankee


Waterville Valley

WBZ-TV

WBZ Radio

For 20 years, American Airlines has been the official carrier of Wednesday’s Child and has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for special needs adoption.



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