Greater Waterbury Campership Fund Update: Minicucci family’s donation remains a constant

WATERBURY — When the beginning of June rolls around, one of the constants for the Greater Waterbury Campership Fund is there will be a donation from Mary Minicucci, of Cheshire, and family in memory of her late husband Arnold Minicucci.

Coronavirus pandemic or no, that hasn’t changed.

“He loved his four kids, he was crazy about golf and he loved his store, and then came me,” Mary Minicucci quipped with self-depreciation, although she very likely had a much higher ranking in the pecking order.

Mary Minicucci and the children, Robert, Julie, Jill and Carl, contributed $500 to the Campership Fund’s 2020 campaign last week.

Arnold Minicucci, who died June 9, 2015 at age 90, was a Navy veteran, passionate golfer and known as “The Merchant of Bank Street” for his 60-year operation of Mincucci’s, a purveyor of fine men’s clothing. The Minicuccis were married 65 years.

Now a resident of Elim Park, Mary Minicucci said the whole family has a long history of camping experiences, mostly at Camp Mataucha in Watertown, the Greater Waterbury YMCA’s facility that is one of the prime venues for Campership Fund youngsters.

She said she particularly was fond of sing-a-longs and Parents Day when she was a youthful camper, and the boys were adventuresome camping enthusiasts. “It was wonderful to have it,” she added.

Although there still is uncertainty over the status of many camps due to COVID-19 issues, donations to the Campership Fund continue to come in and have reached $103,916 for the current campaign. However, that does not include grants of $5,000 from the Ion Bank Foundation, and $40,000 from the David, Helen and Marian Woodward Fund, yet to arrive that will push the total past the 90% mark and closer to the $165,000 target goal.

State day camps have been given the option of opening June 29, following health guidelines and requirements issued by the Office of Early Childhood.

The deadline is June 15 for families in the 10-community area serviced by the United Way of Greater Waterbury to apply for Camperships this summer. It is anticipated at least some underprivileged youngsters will be able to attend a camp this season.

The United Way volunteers its professional services to screen applicants for eligibility. Families who receive SNAP benefits or meet federal poverty guidelines, and with children ages 5 to 18, in Bethlehem, Cheshire, Middlebury, Prospect, Southbury, Thomaston, Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott or Woodbury, are eligible to apply.

Applications can be obtained from the United Way, by searching Campership on, and for the first time, directly from the participating camps from throughout the state that assist the Campership Fund.

Every penny raised by the Campership Fund, a 501(c)3, goes toward sending accepted applicants to camp. Money not spent this summer will be put toward tuition for the summer 2021.

During the Campership Fund’s 50th anniversary year in 2019, supporters raised $157,457 for tuition that paid for 434 children to attend camp.
Donations may be sent to Greater Waterbury Campership Fund, 389 Meadow St., Waterbury, CT 06722.

Regular donations totaling $1,450 received last week included:

•Mr. and Mrs. Rocco and Velma Pugliese, Woodbury, in memory of our parents Fanny and Louis Deschino, Irene and Rocco A. Pugliese, $500
•Ms. Mary Minicucci, Cheshire, in memory of Arnold Minicucci from Mary, Robert, Julie, Jill and Carl, $500
•The Conda Family [–] Emily, Sandy, Billy, Cheryl and Bruce, Waterbury, in memory of Irene Gross with great love and respect, $250
•Mr. and Mrs. Peter and Susan Angelini, Wolcott, $125
•Ms. Gloria Coviello, Southbury, in memory of Anthony Mango, $50
•Mr. William Karmen and Ms. Victoria Saroka, Waterbury, in memory of Irene Gross, $20
•Ms. Helen Bakon, Charlestown, in memory of Irene Gross, $5