Harvest Acres Farm is a place that provides a healing and caring environment of productive activities that will inspire hope and contribute to the health and well-being of individuals with mental illness allowing them to reach their full potential.
The Rainbow Fund was started in memory of our daughter Cassandra Grace Duncan. She was almost 15 years old when she took her own life the day after Christmas 2005. Since her death we have learned so much about suicide and mental illness, and how so many people and their families struggle everyday to survive. The Rainbow Fund has been set up to generate funding to bring hope to mental illness! We have to take the dark cloud of stigma and fear away from mental illness and replace it with the rainbow of hope! Please find it in your heart and legs to support a cause so near to our hearts. Our Mental Wellness affects all of us, everyday!
The Duncan Family
In Loving Memory of
Cassandra's art Gallery
Harvest Acres Farm has a goal of supporting the development of a new farm project that will be a place for individuals living with mental illness. Providing productive activities, practical sills and a holistic setting for individuals living with mental illness, it is a goal to be able to help these individuals achieve their full potential in many different aspects.
Rainbow RUn/Walk 5k
The Rainbow Fund is in memory of Cassandra Grace Duncan. While nothing can replace the hole left by her death, her passing has taught us the importance of educating the public and supporting those touched by mental illness.
Harvest Acres Farmstore
Plenty of local fruit and veggies & handmade gifts by our members! Wide selection of annuals, perennials, herbs and vegetable plants. But not just your local farm store, we also offer a wide range of house hold items and gifts! Home of the annual Rainbow Fund Race.
In the news
Board of Directors & Program StAff
Cindy & John Duncan
Founders of the Rainbow Fund President and Vice President.
They started the Rainbow Fund in their daughter Cassie Duncan memory in 2011. Started with a raffle the first year, then the Rainbow Race the following year. Raising money for NAMI, to bring awareness to mental illness. It has grown and changed with each passing year. They have been fortunate enough to connect with some wonderful people that share their vision of turning their farm into a healing and caring environment to help others with mental illness.
Serves the Harvest Acres Board bringing a background in adult and children’s mental health services, residential services and education for children with severe autism, and 25 years in public education administration. Following undergraduate and Masters in Education degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Dana served a variety of key positions, including Elementary and Middle School Principal, and Superintendent in Massachusetts regional school districts. Dana also lead residential and education programs serving behaviorally challenged and autistic youth at the May Center, and KidsPeace. Most recently Dana served as Executive Director for NAMI Rhode Island.
Dr Janice DeFrances
Served as the President and CEO of the Gorden Network, Her educational background includes a Master of Education Degree in special education/behavioral disorders, as well as a Masters Degree in counseling. In addition, she holds a Ed.D. in special education and administration and has a postdoctoral certificate in neuropsychology.
MARY BRINSON, OTR/L, OTD, FAOTA
Mary is currently a full-time professor at the New England Institute of Technology. She earned a Bachelor’s in Occupational Therapy at Indiana University and a Master’s and Doctorate in Occupational Therapy at Boston University. She is also a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association. She worked at Butler Hospital in Providence for over thirty-five years and held a number of clinical and administrative roles. She serves as the Vice-President of the NAMI-RI Board and serves as the Secretary of the Harvest Acres Board. Throughout her career, Mary’s interest has been in community-based program development for persons with mental illness. Mary currently serves as Harvest Acres Farm Program Director.
BETHANY PRATT, MS, OTR/L
Bethany is currently a full-time Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and instructor in the Occupational Therapy department at New England Institute of Technology. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Rhode Island and her Masters in Occupational Therapy at New England Institute of Technology. Bethany is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at Mt. Mary University. Bethany worked for North Kingstown School Department for 14 years and transitioned to working with adults in a variety of rehabilitation settings. She is excited for the opportunity to involve her fieldwork students in growth and development of Harvest Acres.
Nancy Ferrara has joined the Board for Harvest Acres Farm. Nancy's career in banking spans 29 years with a depth of experience in Management, Lending, Incentive planning, Product Development and Marketing. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in business administration from URI. She has achieved her green belt in Six Sigma and is in the process of completing ABA's Graduate School of Banking. She is a member of the URI Advisory Council and serves on the Alumni Executive Board. She is also the prior Chair of The Foundation Committee at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church and the Arcadia YMCA. She lives in West Greenwich, RI with her husband, Jim and two daughters.
J. RAYMOND PEARSON, CPA
Graduated Bryant University with an accounting degree in 1982 and went straight to work at a national firm. Being employed at the firm for two years showed me that climbing the corporate ladder wasn't for me. I chose to pursue my CPA certificate and I became a Board Certified Public Accountant in 1991, which led me to start my own firm in 1995. Working in the financial consulting field for a number of years has provided me with the opportunity to meet a large variety of local business owners and assist them with financial planning. Although I offer small business accounting services, my true passion is providing small business with a strategy to scale their operation for growth. As the director of finance, my role at Velocity Digital Media is to provide the financial expertise needed to take your business to the next level.
Patricia Blezard, C.C.E.
Fund Raising Chairperson
Patricia is currently a Childbirth and Heath Educator at Women and Infants Hospital. During her fifteen years tenure at Women and Infant as an A.H.A. and B.A.C.E. Certified Educator she has taught many classes such as Caring for You and Your Infant, NICU CPR, NICU discharge classes to new parents, Sibling training for two/three year olds, Doula and Grandparent training. When Pat is not working at the Hospital, she volunteers at Roger Williams Zoo, Harvest Acres and is a choir member and soloist at Saint Rita’s Church. At Roger Williams Zoo, Pat is an Animal Ambassador and Docent teaching people about the animal’s role in the ecosystem, their habitats and how people can aid conservation efforts. At Harvest Acres, Pat has volunteered for ten years doing what was needed to support John and Cindy Duncan’s farm. Pat’s volunteering has continued through the inception of the Mental Health program. Pat brings her years of fund raising experience at St Rose of Lima School to the Harvest Acres Farm board.