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Wolf Drives Senior Ride Service

Westporter Leslie Wolf is driven to keep local senior citizens on the move. And as president of ITNCoastalCT , a nonprofit transportation system, Leslie is doing her part to make sure seniors always have a ride — 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

About two years ago, after hearing the challenges many seniors faced with transportation, Leslie joined a group of volunteers who later formed ITNCoastalCT, an affiliate of ITNAmerica, a nonprofit organization that provides transportation to seniors and the visually impaired.

"Imagine if someone took your keys away: What are your options?" Leslie, 54, said. "There are taxi cabs and public transportation, but these options don't work for everyone, especially seniors. And because many seniors feel like a burden to their families and friends when they ask for a ride, they simply stay home."

For Leslie, the thought that many seniors miss out on everyday activities because they can't find a ride was upsetting.

"It doesn't have to be that way. And in our community, it won't be," she said, adding that ITNCoastalCT, which starts in October, will serve Westport, Easton, Fairfield, Norwalk, Weston and Wilton. "All kinds of research shows that seniors live happier, healthier lives if they are active and stay connected to the community."

United Way of Coastal Fairfield County last week honored Leslie for her volunteer work with ITNCoastalCT. At the awards ceremony she received the Elizabeth Roberts Award—an award created in honor of the woman who founded the Westport-Weston United Way.

Although Leslie said she was honored, she said she alone can't take credit for ITNCoastalCT.

"I feel like the award should have gone to our project and not just one person," Leslie said. "No one person could ever do this: I couldn't have done this without the advice and knowledge of the committee."

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