Westport, Connecticut

Chamber Donates $7K

Monday, 05 June, 2017

Chamber Donates $7000 to Local Nonprofits

 The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce has donated $7000 to local dog related nonprofits from proceeds from the highly successful Second Annual Westport Dog Festival held last month. This is an increase in funds donated from last’s year’s event which saw an outlay in the amount of $4500.

“Not only was this a fun event for the 2800 people and 700+ dogs who attended, but we also get to help so many organizations with these donations,” said Matthew Mandell, Executive Director of the Chamber. “We’re already working on making next year even bigger and better and that would mean more donations as well.”

The $7000 in donations was divided up among six deserving groups. First among them was TAILS, the Westport nonprofit, who partners with the Chamber in the running of the Festival. They too saw an increase to $4000.


Dorrie Harris (middle) and the TAILS Team with Matthew Mandell

"We are extremely grateful to everyone who supported the Dog Festival and made the day so much fun, said Dorrie Harris, President. “The fact that the day benefits so many worthy causes is a testament to the Chamber's commitment to the community - TAILS alone will be able to spay/neuter 90 animals - saving thousands of dogs and cats from being born into a world where there already aren't enough homes. It's simply terrific!"

Once again receiving $1000 was the Westport K9 Police unit, a privately funded addition to that department. They were joined by three other neighboring Town’s K9 units and gave two great demonstrations which thrilled the crowd. The donation will be used to help take care of and train these hard working dogs.


Deputy Chief Vincent Penna, Matthew Mandell, First Selectman Jim Marpe, Officer James Loomer, Officer Koda

The four other donations were each for $500 and went first to Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, who also gave a demonstration on their training techniques and the abilities of their dogs some of which are provided to wounded veterans.

Fidelco web

Matthew Mandell and Eliot Russman President and CEO Fidelco

”Fidelco Guides Dogs is excited by its partnership with the Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce,” Said Eliot Russman, President and CEO. “Its support will help to improve the lives of men and women in Fairfield County who’ve lost their eyesight but not their desire to be moving forward with a Fidelco German Shepherd Guide Dog.”

The Emergency Animal Response Service, known as EARS, also received $500 and will go towards aiding distressed pets and wild animals. EARS gave a demonstration at the Festival offering examples of their techniques and tours of their specially designed animal ambulance.

EARS web

Jon Nowinski and Matthew Mandell

“EARS is entirely run through the commitment of volunteers and donations - we never charge or bill for our services, and no one involved in the organization receives any payment for their participation, “said Jon Nowinski, Founder and Director of Operations. “Because of that we are truly grateful for the support from community organizations such as the Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce. The generous donation provided to our organization will go directly to helping us continue our mission of helping pets, and their people, that face emergencies here in Connecticut.“

The Connecticut Humane Society, with a branch location in Westport, also received $500 to aid in the housing and feeding of many types of animals in need of adoption.

CT Humane

Gordon Willard, Executive Director (middle) and CT Humane Society team with Matthew Mandell

Adopt-a-Dog of Greenwich was the final recipient, once again receiving $500 as they did last year to aid in the their efforts to find loving families for dogs without homes.


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