Norma F. Pfriem Foundation donates four vans to Kennedy Center

Getting to and from activities of daily living is something most of us take for granted. People with disabilities have even greater needs for transportation and count on a reliable, affordable transit system.

Due to the generosity of the Norma F. Pfriem Foundation, the Kennedy Center received a donation of four passenger vans. The Kennedy Center maintains a fleet of 125 vehicles, one of the largest in the region.

The vans will be used in four Community Experience programs: Projects Eclipse, Voyage, Ability and Thirty. The vehicles will be utilized five days a week by 61 individuals with an intellectual disability. The clients will have access to a variety of community opportunities such as volunteering, recreation and educational activities. In addition, they will have the chance to access other local ball games, concerts and seasonal-based experiences.

The Kennedy Center supports 24 programs across nine communities including Stratford, Milford, Trumbull, Bridgeport, Fairfield and Monroe. Settings include five school transition programs, four autism-specific sites, one program designed to support people in supported employment and a cadre of programs serving specific needs from senior services, to PICA free environments, to sites supporting adaptive equipment and on-site physical therapy and/or nursing, to high energy, age-specific programming.

“The Kennedy Center is extremely grateful to the Norma F. Pfriem Foundation for its continued generosity,” said Martin D. Schwartz, President and CEO of The Kennedy Center, which is headquartered in Trumbull. “We want to personally thank Paul Miller, Trustee of this Foundation as well as the other Foundation trustees, for recognizing the significance of our programs. Transportation services receive minimal state funding yet are necessary for our clients to access services and employment. Many of our vehicles have very high mileage and need to be replaced. The Foundation’s substantial contribution has been vital in helping us meet our transportation needs, which are so important to our clients’ success.”

Paul Miller, Trustee of the Norma F. Pfriem Foundation, added, “The Kennedy Center is well deserving of our Foundation’s continued financial support. The funding of four vans will greatly enhance the lives of people with disabilities they serve so well. I am extremely proud of everything the Kennedy Center has accomplished to help their clients reach their fullest potential.”

Five years ago, the Foundation funded The Kennedy Center’s Alzheimer’s programs, which is now named the Norma F. Pfriem Foundation Alzheimer’s Center at Faust Hall in Bridgeport. The Alzheimer’s Center is the only facility of its kind in Connecticut that serves people with intellectual disabilities. This program has filled a huge service gap for aging adults with both an intellectual disability and Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

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