Tracy Flood grew up on South Compo Road — just down the street from CLASP’s Pine Drive house.
The raised ranch is home to 6 women — members of the long-time, low key organization that provides family environments for people with autism and intellectual disabilities.
As a grad student in 1984, Tracy began working weekends at Pine Street. What started as a short-term job turned into a passion — and her calling.
Like many CLASP folks, she found an extended family among colleagues and residents.
Shortly after Tracy began her Pine Street job, her mother died. The residents swarmed her with hugs, and told her how beautiful she was. Their support helped her through a very tough time.
Tracy realized that being part of the CLASP family meant not only giving love, but receiving it back in volumes.
More than 30 years later, Tracy is president of CLASP. The organization has grown to include 13 group homes. Four are in Westport: Pine Drive, Weston Road, Kings Highway and Sturges Highway. Residents — some of whom have lived there for decades — are deeply rooted in the community. They work, shop and play here, leading full, productive lives.
CLASP is one of those local organizations most Westporters are only vaguely aware of. Many don’t even know that the big spring event they always see signs for — A Taste of Westport — is CLASP’s major fundraiser.
It’s one you can really dig your teeth into.
There’s music too, plus a silent auction.
All money raised goes directly to the residents. So they can continue to thrive — and give back the love they receive, to CLASP staffers and the entire community.
(A Taste of Westport is set for Thursday, May 4, 6 to 9:30 p.m. at the Westport Inn. Participating restaurants and vendors include Amis, Black Bear Wines & Spirits, Bobby Q’s Cue & Co., Da Pietro’s, Dough & Co., El Segundo, Garelick & Herbs, Geronimo, Greens Farms Spirit Shop, Harvest, Hummock Island Oysters, Le Rouge Chocolates by Aarti, Little Pub, Matsu Sushi, Mionetto Prosecco, Pane e Bene, Pearl at Longshore, Rive Bistro, Tacos Mexico, Tarantino Restaurant, The Spread and Washington Prime. Click here for tickets and more information.