Pro Bono Services Expand Opportunity For Boston Nonprofit

The Travis Roy Foundation moved into a 2,000 square foot office featuring accessible design, with the support of donated services from several area firms.

The Travis Roy Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals who have suffered spinal cord injuries as well as supporting their families, has announced the opening of its Boston office. Featuring accessible design, new office reflects the support of widespread giving as well as the donation of pro bono services from companies including Dyer Brown, Boston Properties, CBRE, JDL Corporate Interiors, and Officeworks.

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The new office for the Travis Roy Foundation in Boston, MA

To celebrate the office opening and thank the contributors, the Travis Roy Foundation held an inaugural celebration today, November 15, 2017.

“We’re proud of this special opportunity to deliver our firm’s design services to creating the uplifting and highly functional spaces needed for the Travis Roy Foundation’s new home,” says Tara Martin, principal and director of client services for Dyer Brown. “Travis is an inspiring person who makes a daily difference in the lives of countless people in the Greater Boston community and beyond.”

“This office will be a game-changer,” says Travis Roy, founder of the eponymous charity. “Thanks to the team that built it, and to an anonymous ten-year gift, the foundation now has the office space and the financial ability to hire staff and expand our mission to serve more families and people affected by spinal cord injuries. We’re grateful for the work by Dyer Brown to help us enhance those lives.”

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Travis Roy in the new space for his foundation

Roy suffered a serious spinal cord injury 22 years ago as a player on the Boston University hockey team, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. Confined to a wheelchair, Roy has gone on to live a fulfilling and productive life, dedicating his time to work as an inspiring motivational speaker and to building and growing the Travis Roy Foundation from his home, starting in 1997. According to Roy, the foundation’s primary focus includes funding medical research on treatments to treat damage to the central nervous system, as well as providing one-on-one assistance for individuals with spinal injury as well as supporting their families, in the form of “Quality of Life grants.”

A Space To Do Good Work

“The new office provides a space where we can capture the positive energy of the Foundation and our work, and share it with the Boston community,” says Keith VanOrden, managing director of investment firm BlackRock, also a Foundation trustee and Roy’s brother-in-law. “We are very proud of the work we have done and the lives we have been able to impact positively. Having a home base, here in the heart of Boston, will allow us to amplify our efforts.”

accessible designDyer Brown designed the 2,000 square foot space to allow Roy to operate with considerable independence — a focus of Travis Roy Foundation’s work with individuals. Accessibility features are seamlessly integrated into the welcoming, contemporary office interior, including Roy’s desk, which can be raised and lowered with the push of a button. Other accessible design elements include automatic door release mechanisms in the bathrooms, and ADA-compliant motion-activated automatic doors at the entry.

“We are thrilled that Travis has chosen to locate the Travis Roy Foundation’s long-term home at Prudential Center,” Bryan Koop, Executive Vice President, Boston Region for Boston Properties. “Travis’ resilience has been an inspiration for Bostonians for many years and we are pleased to provide an accessible and central location for the Foundation’s mission to grow.”

“Having a dedicated headquarters in downtown Boston will help us continue the growth we’ve been experiencing over the past eight years, by providing a place to meet with significant donors and business groups,” adds Roy. “Not only do we have a space now, but it’s 10 times better than what we imagined. Thanks to the design by Dyer Brown and the work of the project team, we now have the appropriate space so people with spinal cord injuries can come to the office and volunteer.”

Those who know Roy well understand what the office means for him, and for the Foundation. Attorney Art Page of Hemenway & Barnes LLP, who has been providing Roy and his family with legal assistance behind the scenes since he reached out to them after the accident, offered this perspective: “For over 20 years Travis has helped thousands of others move forward, with grants and personal inspiration — all quarterbacked out of his apartment. With the new office, the Travis Roy Foundation gains a home of its own, extending its reach. It has re-energized Trav and all the volunteers and supporters who have been inspired by his cause.”

Adds Page, “We are so grateful to everyone who has made this happen.”

The location of the office at the Prudential Center also reaffirms Roy’s relationship with the Greater Boston community, which responded to the news of Roy’s sudden injury two decades ago with enthusiastic and sustained outpourings of support. In response, the Travis Roy Foundation has extended its fundraising through events such as hockey and Wiffle-ball benefit games, with the intent of bringing communities together for fun while raising awareness of the organization’s work.

Roy also maintains a close relationship with his alma mater, Boston University: the foundation’s anonymous 10-year financial gift that made the new office possible was given through the university, and an additional anonymous gift helped establish a Travis Roy Chair at the University’s College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College.

Christopher Moore, dean of Sargent College, says, “It is our great pleasure to support the administrative efforts and the beautiful new office spaces of the Travis Roy Foundation, as we jointly endeavor to address some of the most challenging problems in rehabilitation. Sargent College and Boston University proudly partner with the Foundation in seeking to maximize for all people their participation in their communities.”

“I’m optimistic for what the future holds for the Travis Roy Foundation and for people with paralysis,” says Roy. “It’s still a way off, but I look forward to the day when a breakthrough is found and we can go out of business.”