Casino Night Fundraising Event: March 7th! Tickets on Sale Now!

Please join us for a night of fun and fundraising! Click on the links below to buy your tickets, make a donation, become a sponsor, or place a program ad. Thank you for your support!

Letter from the Outback Board of Directors

Dear Friends of The Outback:

On March 7th, the Outback will be holding its annual winter fundraiser. We encourage the community to join us to support the Outback and preserve its presence as it continues to evolve into a place that meets the current needs of the youth and families in town.

Fourteen years ago, the Outback, a 90 percent self-funded non-profit organization, opened its doors to provide a safe place for kids to relax, socialize and be engaged in the community. The very existence of a unique, centrally located facility dedicated to our youth is a tangible testament to them and potential homebuyers that youth are a valuable part of our community.

Despite increased usage, operating costs remain a challenge. The original financial operating model is no longer viable. Many grants from corporate sponsors and foundations are restrictive or no longer available. The Town is proposing a grant of $19,000 for next year, which still leaves a financial gap.

A 2013 review by the Harvard Business School Club of Connecticut, Community Partners found that a teen/youth center is still needed in New Canaan and that town support and integration is key to making a successful and sustainable operating model. The Outback Board, Town Council members and First Selectman have been reviewing teen center models together to investigate the best way to maximize town resources. Teen centers in neighboring towns receive substantial town support with funding levels ranging from $90,000 to full funding (Darien, Wilton, Westport). Often the Youth Services Director also serves as the Director for their Teen Center.

The Board is proposing to reorient the Teen Center as a Youth and Family Community Center and create a public/private partnership with the town where the town helps fund the infrastructure costs of the building and professional staff while the Board and stakeholders continue to fundraise for programs.

We need your help. Speak up to support a designated facility to serve the social and enrichment needs of the youth and families in our town. The town supports a center for adults and seniors- Lapham. Our youth and their families deserve a center too!

Sincerely, Outback Board of Directors