Wellspring Community celebrates another remarkable year
By Elizabeth Wood West; photos by Lynn Zahorik
Wellspring Community’s (Wellspring) CEO and founder Mary Lou Fenton and staff gathered in September with hundreds of supporters, volunteers, friends, and families to celebrate the organization’s remarkable achievements at this year’s “Evening of Inspiration” annual fundraiser held at Cielo in Castle Pines.
Wellspring is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving young adults with special needs. Fenton exclaimed, “Can you believe it’s been almost eight years since Wellspring was started in my kitchen in January 2008 – when I was teaching my daughter Emily and her three friends, all with special needs, how to bake cookies two hours a week? Our wild ‘God-can-do-anything’ goal [this year] was $200,000. ” Early estimates show that Wellspring reached its $200,000 fundraising goal!
Among this year’s other achievements was the rise in enrollment; Wellspring now has 44 participants enrolled in work and enrichment programs and more than 60 special needs young adults attending Club 21, the socializing extension of Wellspring.
“We even have our first completely blind participant who is weighing dough in our bakery, painting pottery, harvesting in our garden, singing in our choir, and performing in our drama class. If this isn’t divine, I don’t know what is,” said Fenton.
Earlier this year, the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Foundation partnered with Wellspring by training its participants to give elementary and middle school children tours of Lowell Ranch. The Lone Tree Arts Center is also partnering with Wellspring by training participants to usher for its “sensory-friendly” events. Fenton said they are also pursuing additional space to operate a dedicated ceramics and woodworking workshop to give their participants the opportunity to engage in meaningful, productive work.
Wellspring Community’s special needs participants create ceramic and
woodworking gift items for sale as part of their work and enrichment
Wellspring products are sold at various local businesses, as well as shipped all over the country. Fenton added, “We have launched our ‘training grounds’ on Friday mornings where we train our folks in hosting, serving, and bussing tables for our Best Buddies Bakery & Café. All this as we prepare for our most exciting development – launching our Best Buddies Bakery & Café in The Emporium in Castle Rock later this year!”
Wellspring Community is located at 826 Park Street, #200, in Castle Rock. For additional information, call 303-660-1935 or visit