BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) – A man who helped found the Bennington Area AIDS Project has died.

Theodore Francis Doucette died last week at his home in Bennington. He was 82.

Doucette and his partner Mark Crawford founded Art Work Specialties and Jet Age Designs.

Doucette and Crawford founded the AIDS project in 1988. It was the first area organization that offered assistance to AIDS patients. The project helped fund itself through Bingo games run out of a Bennington storefront.

Doucette was also a founding member of the State of Vermont AIDS Council.

Crawford died last year.

Town Manager Stuart Hurd says Doucette and Crawford are most responsible for raising awareness of AIDS in the Bennington area.

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