Make a Difference

Make a Difference

for Alternatives For Children

Arlene Murtha

It is with saddened heart that we announce the passing of one of Alternatives For Children's finest leaders, Arlene Murtha. Arlene, initially employed by St. Charles Hospital & Rehabilitation Center was an integral part of the formation of St. Charles Educational and Therapeutic Center (the Crayon Building in Port Jefferson) and the now, Alternatives for Children.


Mrs. Murtha provided strong leadership for our Early Intervention Program reaching families all across Suffolk County. She was a guiding light for literally decades of families first learning of their child’s disability. Arlene, always took the time to listen and respond with immeasurable compassion, never, ever too busy to lend a hand, kind word or hopeful path. Thousands of families are the better for Arlene having touched their lives.


Each and every time, Alternatives for Children, determined we would expand to reach more families, Arlene asked what could she do to make it happen. She traveled to our four sites, mentoring new staff, providing guidance and holding down the fort. Mrs. Murtha exemplified the “can do” attitude, with grace and perseverance. Our organization is successful because of Arlene, not luck, just hard work and commitment to our organization. She embodies our mission and who we are.


Over the years, many of our staff, also trusted and confided in Arlene with professional issues along with the trials and tribulations we all face as human beings. Again, the trust and compassion never wavered and for that many of us are forever grateful.


A little my senior, Arlene, would often offer me her counsel, thoughtfully guiding, sometimes with a sense of humor even when the chips were down. I am forever grateful to have her as my colleague. Arlene is deeply admired and respected by all of us who knew her and will be sorely missed.


We thank Arlene’s family for sharing her with us for so many years and we are happy in thought she will join with her husband Gil. The two raised beautiful children and grandchildren and Arlene was very proud of who they are and have become.


We are forever blessed at Alternatives for Children. Arlene has enriched our lives along with all of those staff and families she touched.


Thank you Arlene, for making the difference and never losing sight of our goals.


Marie Ficano

Yes! I want to Make a Difference for Alternatives For Children!






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Mail your donation to:
Alternatives For Children
14 Research Way
East Setauket, NY 11733

Thank you for your support!

Alternatives For Children is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, registered with the New York State Charities Bureau, providing quality special educational and therapeutic programs and services for children (ages 6 weeks through 5 years) with varying degrees of delays or disabilities, and their typically developing peers and families.