About David's House

A Home-Away-From-Home

David’s Story

David’s House is the dream of a little boy named David Cyr who passed away at age five after a three-and-a-half-year struggle against acute lymphocytic leukemia. Built so that families can remain together when it is most crucial, David’s House provides a home-away-from-home and support for families with children receiving treatment through Dartmouth Health Children’s.

During David’s frequent visits to the children’s hospital, at that time in Hanover, NH, his father, Dick, met many parents who slept in their cars or in chairs in their child’s hospital room, unable to afford any length of stay at a nearby hotel and unwilling to leave their child’s side. Likewise, each time David was discharged, he begged his parents to take the other kids in the pediatric departments with them to their safe, comfortable home in nearby Vermont.

For three years life went on this way. Dick met frustrated, exhausted parents and dealt with David’s illness the best he knew how; for his part, David helped. In and out of the hospital, Dick told us, David never lost his love of life or his ability to brighten the days of those he met.

It was 1984 and David’s doctor told the Cyrs that David had just months left to live. The boy’s parents had heard this before, but this time, Dick could feel that it was true. Their home was nearby – a twenty minute drive – but in such times, any distance is too far. Exasperated, overwhelmed, and feeling the frustration he had seen in so many other parents, Dick asked the doctor, “Why isn’t there a place for families like ours to stay?” There had been talk of such a place, the doctor told them, but nothing had ever come of it.

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Within a week of David’s passing, the Cyrs and their friends and family had already begun raising money for David’s House. The seed money from which this wonderful organization has grown was David’s own $300.78 (in spare change, allowances, and birthday money stashed around the house). Whenever Dick had asked him what he was saving for, David replied, “For a special reason, Dad.” David’s House opened its doors to guests on January 20, 1986 and since then, that “special reason” has served over 16,000 families from around the world!

When the hospital’s pediatric services moved from Hanover to Lebanon in 1991, the Board of Directors of David’s House decided to launch a capital campaign to build a new home on land that the Medical Center agreed to lease for $1 per year. On May 9, 1994, the current David’s House welcomed its first guests. A short walk from the hospital entrance, David’s House was designed specifically to not look like an institutional building and instead to feel like a cozy house with tons of windows for natural light, welcoming colors, and comfortable furnishings.

David’s House is a grassroots organization that does not receive state or federal funding; because of the support we receive from our community, we are able to provide support for families 365 days/year without ever charging any fees.

Who Stays at David's House

Since January 20th, 1986, over 16,000 families from 42 states, 2 US territories, and 30 countries have called David’s House their home-away-from-home. Countless others have used the house on a day-guest basis–for a shower, a nap, a meal, or any other service we provide apart from an overnight room. We provide so much more than a bed to sleep in, a kitchen to eat in, and quiet areas to find respite in – we are a safe, peaceful environment filled with compassionate staff, and we foster connections among families that can result in lifelong friendships and support networks.

The People

David’s House is a warm and welcoming home because of the people who keep the doors open 365 days a year – Our Founder said it best: “David’s House has had the right people in the right place, at the right time” —Dick Cyr

Board of Directors

Our board of directors is a body of elected members who jointly oversee and steer the direction and health of David’s House. They donate their time and energy and demonstrate unwavering dedication to our mission.

Jessie Farnham – President

Astrid Bradish-Hoyt – Vice President

Jennifer Buckey – Treasurer

Janet Hutchens – Secretary

Jeremy Greeley

Dr. Julie Kim

Lesa Knapp

Julie McKenney

Manny Paolucci

Samantha Pause

Jennifer Riccio

Keegan Riley

Joshua Winn

The members of our small staff are thankful to work in an environment filled with love and gratitude for all the wonderful, supportive volunteers who help make doing their job possible.

Don Dutton – Executive Director  – don.dutton@davids-house.org

Cathy Labonte – Facilities Manager – cathy.labonte@davids-house.org

Todd Gordon – Program Manager – todd.gordon@davids-house.org

Robin Osmer- On-Site Program Manager – robin.osmer@davids-house.org

Marie Watt – Resident Manager

Paula Welch – Housekeeper

In Loving Memory of Our Founder, Dick Cyr

Ludlow, VT — Richard A. Cyr, Sr., age 85, passed Sunday, July 24, 2022, at Gill Odd Fellows Home in Ludlow, VT.

Born April 24, 1937 in Old Town, Maine, Dick was the son of the late Walter Cyr, Sr. and Florilda (Dumont) Cyr. Dick grew up in Massachusetts and in the spring of 1954 joined the Marines with two of his brothers, Eugene and Walter. In 1976 Dick moved with his family to the Upper Valley, where he enjoyed skiing and, later in life, going on adventures in his motorhome.

Over the years, Dick worked for a variety of companies throughout New England, most notably F.W. Webb and Irving Oil. Dick and his late wife Gerry (D’Arcangelo) founded David’s House, a home-away-from-home for families with children receiving care through Dartmouth Health Children’s in Lebanon, NH (formerly Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock). This home, established in memory of his adopted young son, David, who passed away at the age of 5½ from leukemia, has supported over 16,000 families from around the world since opening in 1986.

Dick will be remembered for his devilish sense of humor, his unwavering support for the U.S. military, his love of the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots, and his profound gratitude to those who supported him throughout his life. The words “thank you” were staples in Dick’s vocabulary, and those on the receiving end knew that they came from the bottom of his heart.

Dick is predeceased by his parents; two sons, Ronald Cyr and David Cyr; and brothers David Cyr, Sr., Walter Cyr, and Jack Cyr. He is survived by a son Richard Cyr, Jr. of Windsor, VT; a brother, Eugene Cyr of Milford, MA; two sisters, Donna Maron of Uxbridge, MA and Linda Horne of Brighton, MA; two grandchildren, Nicholas Kellogg of Orford, NH, and Jennifer of North Carolina; three great-grandchildren, Alex of North Carolina, Brynne of North Carolina, and Michia Kellogg of Bradford, VT; and many nieces and nephews.

Dick Obit Picture

Career Opportunities

There are no career opportunities available at this time, please check back later – In the meantime, take a peek at our volunteer opportunities!