CLASP homes is proud to have been chosen as one of the beneficiaries of the Nation Charity League’s, mother/ daughter partnership. The league, which consists of mothers and daughters volunteering many hours of community service throughout the year, chooses a number of organizations to support. As of December 2012, the league members have baked cookies and cupcakes from the CLASP Fashion Show, the CLASP table at the Westport tree lighting at Christ & Holy Trinity Church and for the CLASP residents prior to Thanksgiving. They also hosted two afternoons of holiday crafts with our folks. The girls helped decorate holiday photo holders, took photos and sang carols and then sent the happy residents home with bags of homemade cookies. We can’t thank the league members enough for their generosity and look forward to our growing partnership.
CLASP Homes Celebrates 30 Years Serving Fairfield County
“CLASP Homes will celebrate our 30th birthday this year – reflecting on many accomplishments, and excitedly looking forward to the next 30 years!” said Tracy Flood, President of CLASP. “When I was hired we had one group home serving six men in Westport. We now have 12 homes, 9 apartments, and serve 80 men and women throughout Fairfield County.”Julie McNamee, Board Chair and parent of one of our residents, said, “CLASP is indeed an extended family to my daughter, Sherri and to our whole family as well. Over the years, we have watched Sherri grow and gain a very full and active life, with more independence than we thought she would ever achieve”. Julie added that “CLASP has become a very important asset in our lives”.
It takes a staff of over 140 caring CLASP professionals to provide the individualized support to the 80 people they fondly refer to as “members of the CLASP Family.” At CLASP, autism, and other developmental disabilities don’t hold people back from living meaningful, productive, safe and happy lives. You will often find those served by CLASP out about town going to a movie, the grocery store, having dinner, swimming at the beach, and generally taking advantage of all that wonderful Fairfield County has to offer.
In the upcoming year CLASP will be hosting a series of events to commemorate this birthday. The goal of these endeavors will be to raise awareness of the wonderful work done by CLASP, and provide opportunities for people in our community to become more involved. “This includes a bit of a “makeover” to the way CLASP’s work is represented to the public” said Robin Hammond, Development Director. After 30 years it’s time to update our website, our logo, and reach out to the community using social media and all the tools at hand. It’s great to get out the message but as human service professionals our primary focus is always the people we serve.”
CLASP operates homes and apartments in Westport, Fairfield, Wilton, Easton, Stratford, Trumbull, Norwalk and Shelton, as well as the Career and Community Options program based in Fairfield.
For more information explore CLASP’s new website at www.clasphomes.org or call Robin Hammond at (203) 226- 7895 ext. 144.
Two Success stories that began at the start of CLASP
Christian and Geoff have been with CLASP since the beginning! Thirty years ago these 2 young men moved into a group home on Kings Hwy. in Westport. It was their first time away from home and family. They came from two very different backgrounds but would share their lives together every day for the next 12 years. Both men were determined to someday become independent and live on their own, in their own apartment, where they would get to “call the shots.”
Christian’s years of working with staff on the skills needed to take care of himself and his home, coupled with counseling, and working at a job he loved, paid off in 1995. Christian’s dream of living on his own came true. He moved to a small one bedroom apartment in Norwalk where he was able to walk to work, the grocery store, the pharmacy, restaurants and even the movies. Christian also loved that he would no longer have to have staff with him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; he was able to have his “own” time to do what he wanted. Sometimes we take our freedom and independence for granted, and we don’t realize how intrusive it is to have someone by your side all of the time. This was a liberating experience for Chris. He only needed to have staff come in for a few hours a day to ensure that all his health and safety needs were being met, and someone to help him manage his money and pay his bills on time.
It has been more than 15 years since Chris ventured out on his own. He is a true success story of what CLASP represents! You may just bump into him if you shop at Whole Foods in Westport. He will gladly help you carry your groceries to your car, and tell you about his latest adventure.
Geoff ‘s dream came true a short time after Chris’, when he was able to move into an apartment in Wilton. Geoff did not seem like an obvious candidate. He doesn’t speak much, and conventional wisdom at the time would have dictated that he needed a group home. However, we knew it was his dream and CLASP was determined to make it happen for him. Geoff was diligent in learning to take assisted public transportation to and from work, and improve his time management in order to catch the bus each day. He also learned skills to keep himself safe while in his apartment. He never wanted to live alone, so he has a roommate. He currently lives in a beautiful 2 bedroom condo in Norwalk. Geoff is a quiet man with a lot of personality. He grew up with an amazing family who helped him succeed in every way possible. Geoff loves to relax in his bedroom and listen to CD’s, look through books of different cars, and flirt with the ladies. He truly loves getting up and going every day. Even though Geoff will probably never be fully independent, he feels as if he is is on his own like the other adults in his life.
CLASP is an agency that is willing to look outside the box for the benefit of the people we serve. If they can dream it, we will do whatever it takes to make it happen. To have a disability doesn’t mean you can’t live a truly amazing life; all you need is someone who believes in you.
A Visit from Santa!
Al’s Angels came to the annual CLASP Holiday Dinner Dance at Chatham Manor for the 3rd year. Santa (Al DiGuido) made the rounds, shaking absolutely everyone’s hand and then distributing the gifts he brought to each and every guest, while also posing for pictures. Al is an extraordinary man, heading up an extraordinary organization. We are so grateful for all they do for us at CLASP!
Your Business, Your Self
The Fairfield County Business Network supported CLASP Homes at the “Your Business, Your Self” seminar.
The experts got you up to speed with the latest information you need to know about “all things online”. In three action packed hours heard from experts; Robert Clark, LucidPointe, Darien, Susan Catalano, HireWorthy, Weston, Ric Kallaher, Ric Kallaher Photography, Westport, Dan Verderame, Brand Inc., Greenwich, Brian Higgins, Sound Technology Services, Stamford, Matt Shea, Matt of all Media Productions, Fairfield, John Blaze, Driven Local, Westport and Kathy Winter, Kathy Winter Productions, Westport. Some of the topics covered are online marketing, how to use email and social media, success with Linkedin, website design that works, the cloud for business and search engine optimization. After leaveing this seminar you were ready to be “perfectly connected”!
All proceeds to benefit CLASP.
CLASP Homes Celebrated their 30th Anniversary with Evening of Laughter!
Comedians Jon Fisch, Moody McCarthy and surprise guest Alexandra McHale played to a packed house and provided a wonderful evening of entertainment for all. The Fairfield Theatre Company proved to be an intimate and inviting venue while the Brasserie and 55 Restaurant & Wine Bar generously provided delightful refreshments for all in the newly renovated gallery space.
The CLASP family was moved once again, by what can be accomplished when communities come
together for a common cause. Thanks to all our community partners!
CLASP Spring Dinner Dance
On June 7th we once again danced the night away at our annual Spring DInner Dance. This evening is always one of the best nights for all involved! Chatham Manor in Norwalk does an amzing job hosting it, and couldn't be more generous in their keeping their fees affordable!
Celebrating Memorial Day and CLASP's 30th Birthday!
Being pulled by a beautiful vintage, canary yellow pick-up, was the CLASP 30th Birthday Cake/Float. Giving out flags and pencils, the participants and staff from CLASP showed our pride for country, and for our own milestone.
Our own Tracy and Robin debuted at WPKN (89.5 fm) on the Steve di Costanza show - "The GM Report." Steve was so generous and they have supported us at the Band Together Concert last fall, and we will be working with them on the Taste!!!
Real Talk with Tracy and Robin!
Thanks to Our Loyal Supporter!
Please share the name of this reputable organization! The Berkowitz Law Firm LLC is dedicated to winning just compensation and protecting the rights of people that have endured medical malpractice or personal injury.
On May 5th the generous Westport Inn, was again transformed for a top notch elegant and festive evening! Over 20 restaurants participated, over 130 businesses and over 50 volunteers came together to raise money to benefit CLASP. This is a unique and generous community we share!
100 Women who Care
Fairfield County Chapter
This is a wonderfully creative organization new to Fairfield County.
They meet four times a year with members making a yearly donation commitment of $400. At each of the quarterly meetings, a vote is taken as to which charity will go home with the proceeds of the $100 that each member donates to the meeting.
323 Main in Westport has sponsored CLASP and hosted organization's first 6 meetings. As the chapter has grown, it will now move on to the Pearl at Longshore for its September meeting. 323 will be generously continuing its sponsorship of CLASP! We urge you to support both the 100 Women Who Care Fairfield County Chapter and 323 Main!
Photos courtesy of John Videler
A Sunset Ride for CLASP!
Thank you to the Bike Lady, Tracy Yost for hosting a "Bike for CLASP" sunset ride! We rode leisurely on her "bike cruisers" and explored hidden parts of the Westport shoreline. Riders expressed how safe they felt with Tracy as the bike tour guide and enjoyed it so much they didn't even feel like they were getting a thorough workout.Tracy encourages bike friendly communities as a great way to bring locals together. For more info on Westport Bike Rentals, visit www.westportbikerentals.com or call the Bike Lady herself (Tracy Yost) at 203.917.9533.
Picture from left to right: CLASP Development Assistant, Erica Thomas and The Bike Lady, Tracy Yost.
Bluefish Game 2016!
A special thanks to our long time CLASP friend, John Videler for documenting our annual Bluefish game resident outing! John is a Westport native who has the gift of making people feel at ease in front of the camera with his "cool and calm energy." Visit his website to see more of his beautiful work. Whatever the event may be, John will capture you in the best light! www.videler.com
Car Wash for CLASP!
Thank you to 323 for hosting the 3rd annual car wash to benefit CLASP! 323 has been a generous supporter! It was a great way to kick off the fall season and all their participation and support was greatly appreciated!
Each year we take a break, give staff longevity awards, honor two staff who have been recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty- in addition we eat, drink, and dance!
A big thanks to the Norfield Congregation for generously hosting a "fiesta" themed dance for our residents. The afternoon was filled with crafts, prizes, dancing and fun!
Attention Amazon Shoppers!!
When you shop AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), you will find the same great prices and selection. The only difference is the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organization selected by customers. Choose CLASP!!
This year's concert was an amazing success! Band Together founders, Jerry Vigorito and Rob Fried put together a high energy program: THRILLER: A TRIBUTE TO THE MUSIC AND INFUENCE OF MICHAEL JACKSON. The stage was filled with extraordinary talented musicians who not only sang the biggest hits from Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, but also had moves that would of made MJ proud!
(Picture from left to right: Erica Thomas, Jerry Vigorito, Tracy Flood, and Rob Fried)
Our very own CLASP resident, Rachel rockin' out!
Thank You To Our Sponsors!!
Mose Associates Morgan Stanley James White Denise Walsh & Partners
Lydia & Richard Kalt
Guilmartin, DiPiro & Sokolowski LLC Fern and Leonard Leader
CLASP's "Artists in Residence"
For this year's event, a few of our residents took great pride in creating music inspired pottery and painted canvas pieces. The unique artwork was displayed and held for sale at our pre-concert party.
Many thanks to our generous donors for coming out to this year's Taste of Westport! We are very fortunate to be surrounded by so many dedicated individuals and businesses in our wonderful Westport community.
Thank You To Our Sponsors!!
Aurea De Souza
The Mynarski & Passerelle Families
Photos Courtesy Of: John Videler, Fides Ostbye, and Charlie Colasurdo
Thank you to the Westport Rotary Club who recently presented CLASP with a generous Rotary Community Grant! We are so grateful to this local organization who has shown their support to CLASP for many years!!
Thank You Westport Woman's Club!
A special thanks to the Westport Woman's Club for choosing CLASP as one of the recipients for a community service grant!
Thank You Westport Rotary Club!
Check out Dan Woog's article on WestportNow featuring CLASP and A Taste of Westport!!