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FAIRFIELD FIRST RESPONDERS CREATE PROGRAM TO ASSIST RESIDENTS WITH AUTISM
Fairfield, Conn., May 6, 2021 -- In honor of Autism Awareness Month, Fairfield’s first responders have initiated a voluntary new program to assist them with providing the best service to these important citizens. The program will consist of offering custom decals including the words “FIRST RESPONDER ALERT” and “Occupant with Autism” (see below), which can be displayed on homes, businesses, and or/vehicles.
“In the emergency services business, we strive to obtain the most information we can so that each emergency gets the individual specialized attention it needs,” said Bill Tuttle, president of the Firefighters Union, IAFF Local 1426. “These decals will allow responding crews to use our training to deliver the care and respect people on the spectrum deserve. Having the knowledge at an emergency scene sooner lets us tailor our interactions in a way to mitigate the impact of what is already a stress-inducing situation,” he added.
These decals are provided free of charge by the Firefighters Union in connection with their partners—the Fairfield Police Union, the 911 telecommunicators and AMR, the Town's emergency medical services provider. They will be available at Team Woofgang & Co. at 1300 Post Road for pick-up during business hours starting May 7th, or through the Firefighters Union.
For more information, please contact Bill Tuttle at (203) 650-2746.
Additionally, if anyone does not feel comfortable going to a store to obtain a sticker, simply message our page and we will deliver one to you.
Team Woofgang & Co. hosts grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony at new vocational training facility in Bridgeport
Bridgeport, CT (May 5, 2021) -- Team Woofgang & Co. officially opened the doors of their new vocational training facility at 2861 Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport. Mayor Ganim, City Council Representatives Scott Burns and Matthew McCarthy, along with representatives of the Mayor’s office participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Team Woofgang & Co. is a non-profit organization empowering adults with disabilities (known as team members) through a wide variety of vocational skill sets learned through production, packaging, marketing and selling of high quality pet treats and novelty items. Team Woofgang’s goal is to continue to meet the significant demand for these services with the opening of this new facility.
During the ceremony, Board President Amy Stern and Executive Director Amiee Turner, welcomed local government officials, supporters, and community members to celebrate the occasion.
“The opening of this facility is a milestone,” said Stern. “It will enable Team Woofgang to provide additional hours of vocational training and job skills development to more adults with disabilities. We are deeply grateful to our donors, partners, and volunteers.”
Mayor Ganim emphasized Stern’s sentiments, “It’s a milestone for Team Woofgang but also for Black Rock as well. While this is the opening and start of something new, Team Woofgang is already a success story,” Mayor Ganim remarked.
Team Woofgang’s team members participated in the event and gave the Mayor and Council Representatives a personal tour of the facility which features commercial grade equipment and spaces designed to accommodate people with a variety of skill and ability levels.
Team Woofgang & Co. is thrilled to welcome new Executive Director, Amiee Turner.
Turner is an innovative, people-centered leader with a strong history of successful supervisory experience across diverse industries, including home lending, real estate, theater, dance, and professional sports. Prior to joining Team Woofgang & Co., Turner was the executive administrator at RealFi. She also served as the executive director of the not-for-profit Ocean State Theatre Company, Inc. of Rhode Island for over 10 years.
“I appreciate the board’s confidence in me, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to lead such a great organization into our next chapter. Team Woofgang & Co. is truly an innovative company, and I know we can move forward and continue to provide the excellent services and programs for our team members and great products for our customers,” Turner said. “I’m especially grateful to the board for their trust and guidance. Team Woofgang & Co. is stronger today because of their tireless work over the past four years.”
As executive director, Turner will work closely with staff and the board to ensure the organization can continue to adapt to serve young adults with disabilities as we emerge from the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and beyond. One of her first acts as executive director has been to oversee the completion and opening of Team Woofgang & Co.’s new production facility, located on Fairfield Avenue in the Black Rock neighborhood of Bridgeport. She will also oversee ongoing fundraising, development efforts, and the continued evolution and expansion of Team Woofgang & Co.’s services, programs, and retail products.
“Amiee is a positive and energetic leader. Her practical approach to problem solving, and passion for leveraging her skills in service of others made her our ideal candidate,” said Amy Stern, Team Woofgang & Co. board president. “The board is excited to work with Amiee as our new executive director and confident that Team Woofgang & Co. will be well positioned under her guidance to thrive in the years to come."
If you would like to set up a visit at our new vocational facility in Bridgeport and say "hi" to Amiee in person, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. She's looking forward to meeting everyone!
Team Members Harry, Caroline, Hillary, Isabel, Chris, and Jack showcase all the wonderful gifts available at our store at 1300 Post Road in Fairfield, CT. Shop local & support! Great cause, great gifts!
In her weekly newsletter, Fairfield's First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick highlighted Team Woofgang as the "non-profit of the week". The recognition gives us incredible exposure to the most thoughtful and engaged members of our hometown community. We are honored to receive this gesture of support and adoration from our local representative!
The weather was spectacular for Team Woofgang's first charity golf outing, Putts & Mutts 2020, hosted at The Patterson Club in Fairfield, CT. Thank you to our honored guests, generous sponsors, esteemed board members, dedicated volunteers, and - of course - superstar team members for a wonderful day outdoors! Proceeds from the event will help outfit our new production space in Black Rock. We're opening up doorways, expanding the restroom, adding safety rails, and truly making this Team Woofgang's space; a place where we can safely and confidently work together to grow and achieve success.
Our sponsors included: PowerBridge, Tito's Handmade Vodka, Astoria Energy, CTP, Ardian, Whitehall, DCO Energy, Hubbell Water Heaters, Jingoli Power, Unity Jets, People's United Bank, Cantor Fitzgerald, ESS Group, and D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments.
Emily Halderson, a senior leader on Fairfield University's field hockey team and long-time volunteer for Team Woofgang, was recently profiled on the university's website.
Halderson has volunteered for Team Woofgang for three years, primarily as a store manager. She also launched and ran an annual Bingo Night fundraiser on campus, which has raised nearly $2,000 over the past two years, all while providing our team members with the special opportunity to socialize with the university's broader student community.
As highlighted in the article, Halderson and Team Woofgang have "forged a relationship that is as strong as any bond felt between teammates on an athletic team. Because like teammates, they work together for a common goal."
We're super proud of you, Emily! Thanks for everything you've done.
Woofgang & Co. job training programs are going digital! We have established video conferencing, with many of our Team Members actively participating, and a whole new digital curriculum created and implemented by our extremely talented program directors.
It is imperative that Woofgang & Co. continue to provide vital programming to our Team of young adults at this time. More than ever, familiar faces and routine will offer some comfort to the disruption this virus and all of the accompanying melee has caused to our everyday lives.
Dozens of happy Woofgangers gathered this month to enjoy the comradery of co-workers and celebrate the holidays together. Festivities included dancing, dinner and festive games galore. Holiday decorations and a delicious spread were generously donated and prepared by Connie DeMattia and Carol Canzoneri. We are beyond grateful to them, as well as Emma Kilbride, Carlee Pickering and Lee Anne Powers for serving. It was a magical and memorable night for all the young adults who attended. Merry! Merry!
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