Challenge Unlimited at Ironstone Farm, 450 Lowell St., Andover, Massachusetts 01810


Ironstone Farm

Therapy with more horsepower

Therapy with more horsepower

Therapy with more horsepowerTherapy with more horsepowerTherapy with more horsepower

Cummings Foundation $100K for 100 Grant


Challenge Unlimited, Inc. at Ironstone Farm is one of 100 local nonprofits to receive a grant of $100,000 through Cummings Foundation’s “$100K for 100” program. The Andover-based organization was chosen from 597 applicants, during a competitive review process. Cummings Foundation has announced a total of $20 million in grants to Greater Boston charities in the past two months alone.

Ironstone Farm is home to two nonprofit programs that benefit children with special needs, veterans who have experienced trauma, people diagnosed with cancer, and others. Ironstone provides therapeutic, educational and recreational opportunities using horses and the working farm environment to help people achieve optimum quality of life.


Representing Challenge Unlimited, Inc. at Ironstone Farm, Executive Director Deedee O’Brien and Advisory Member Carolyn Burt joined approximately 300 other guests at a reception at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn to celebrate the $10 million infusion into Greater Boston’s nonprofit sector this past June. With the conclusion of this grant cycle, Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $220 million to Greater Boston nonprofits alone.



Ironstone Farm will use the Cummings Grant to provide educational and therapeutic programs for children from Community Teamwork in Lowell. Children living in inner city neighborhoods and families living in shelters also will be able to experience the benefits provided by the farm and its natural surroundings.

“Our community partners, such as Community Teamwork in Lowell, are essential to achieving Challenge Unlimited’s mission. Having a direct influence on the well-being of children in our local community and having those with emotional and environmental challenges walk away with positive connections makes our job here worthwhile,” said O’Brien, executive director of Challenge Unlimited, Inc. at Ironstone Farm. “We cannot extend enough gratitude to the Cummings Foundation for enabling us to provide and expand on this exceptional program and to continue to make a significant difference for the children and families who need us most.”

About Cummings Program

The $100K for 100 program supports nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the area where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate Cummings Properties. Founded in 1970 by Bill Cummings of Winchester, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 11 million square feet of space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

“We are indebted to the nonprofit organizations like Challenge Unlimited, Inc. at Ironstone Farm that have a meaningful positive impact on the local communities where our colleagues and clients live and work,” said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation’s executive director. “We are delighted to invest in their important programs and services.”

This year’s diverse group of grant recipients represents a wide variety of causes, including homelessness prevention and affordable housing, education, violence prevention, and food insecurity. Most of the grants will be paid over two to five years.

The complete list of 100 grant winners is available at 

Cummings Foundation announced an additional $10 million in early May through its new Sustaining Grants, which extend “$100K for 100” funding for previous winners for 10 more years. Beginning in 2019, the Foundation will increase its total annual giving through these two programs from $20 million to $25 million.

About Ironstone Farm

Ironstone Farm is home to two nonprofit programs that benefit children with special needs, veterans who have experienced trauma, people diagnosed with cancer, elders with memory impairment and others. More than 200 people volunteer their time each week to help keep Ironstone Farm’s nonprofit programs running strong. Clients come from more than 90 communities in Greater Boston, the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire. Top doctors and major medical institutions refer clients to Ironstone Farm because of its successful programs and reputation.  

About Cummings Foundation

Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities in Marlborough and Woburn. Bill Cummings released his self-written memoir, “Starting Small and Making It Big: An Entrepreneur’s Journey to Billion-Dollar Philanthropist,” in March 2018. The book may be purchased at