Many Westporters know Chris.
He arrived at CLASP 30 years ago. At 20 years old, with a developmental disability, he was shy and lacked confidence.
CLASP — the Westport-based organization that provides life skills training, homes and employment, so adults with autism and other developmental challenges become contributing, respected community members — helped Chris gain social skills, overcome shyness, and become one of the first residents of the Kings Highway group home. (There are now a dozen more — and an apartment program.)
Chris got a job at Food Emporium, collecting carts. When Whole Foods replaced that store, he made the transition. He’s been promoted several times. Today, he helps in all departments.
Shoppers know him. They look for him, and stop to chat.
In 1995 Chris moved into his own apartment. He learned to swim. Competing in Special Olympics, he won many medals.
Today he lives a very independent life. He works, swims, eats out, and stays current on political issues.
Being on his own was always his dream. With hard work, determination — and the support of CLASP — he made it come true.
Once a year though, they do. In a very “tasteful” manner.
CLASP Homes’ A Taste of Westport brings 2 dozen restaurants to the Westport Inn. Westport’s own Amis, Garelick & Herbs, Harvest, Matsu Sushi, Pane e Bene, Pearl, Rive Bistro, Romanacci and Tarantino offer tastings. There’s dessert from Le Rouge, beverages from Black Bear Wine & Spirits and Greens Farms Spirit Shop, plus music by the great cover band Green Eyed Lady.
A silent auction includes tickets to the Jimmy Fallon Show, the Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Yankees tickets, and a night at the Met opera.
Westport is filled with worthy fundraisers. If you’ve never been to this one, take a taste. You’ll clasp it to your heart forever.
(A Taste of Westport is this Thursday, May 3, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Westport Inn. Tickets are $75 by clicking here, $85 at the door. For more information, call Robin Hammond: 203-226-7895, ext. 144. Hat tip: Roy Fuchs)