Fairfield fundraiser supports vocational training
FAIRFIELD — Local nonprofit Woofgang & Co. hosted a fundraiser last week to raise money for its job training program for young adults with disabilities.
The event, held at the Warehouse at the Fairfield Theatre Company on Sept. 12 and featuring a performance from The Temptations, brought in over 350 guests whose contributions will help grow the program.
Woofgang & Co. provides vocational training to young adults with disabilities. Through making, packaging and selling custom pet treats, recent graduates with disabilities gain valuable skills and experience to help them enter the workforce.
Participants receive intentional skills training that is designed with input from therapists and special educators. Woofgang currently serves upwards of 40 young adults in the community, and has provided over 10,000 hours of vocational training to date.
“There’s clearly a need,” said co-founder Kris Burbank.
Last week’s Motown-themed event raised money for a permanent kitchen space at which the program’s young adults can bake and package the store’s dog treats.
They currently operate rent-free out of the kitchen in the Bigelow Center for Senior Activities, but they’ve outgrowing the space and are looking to prepare for financial independence.
Their storefront on 1300 Post Road is also gifted by a private commercial owner, and Burbank knows these rent-free donations won’t last indefinitely. Current fundraising efforts are part of a long-term plan to find and pay for a permanent home.
Funds from last week’s event will also aid other expansion initiatives, including hiring an executive director and launching an e-commerce operation.