Greater Waterbury Campership Fund Update: Fund pays for 72 kids to attend summer camp

WATERBURY — The number of youngsters who have headed off to summer camp, or soon will be, through the Greater Waterbury Campership Fund has topped out at 72 for the 2020 season.

The fund’s board of directors recently voted to allocate an additional $1,710 to accommodate three more last-minute campers, bringing total tuition costs thus far to $38,646.

One of the campers will be joining 47 other Campership Fund adventure seekers at the Greater Waterbury YMCA’s Camp Mataucha in Watertown, while the other two are headed for the Y’s Camp Summer Sunshine in Waterbury, bringing that overall number up to 12.

Ardent supporters of the Campership Fund, whether they be enthusiastic individuals, businesses, organizations or philanthropic entities, have raised $160,494 to date, or 97% of the $165,000 target goal set back in the spring. That easily covers the tuition expenses for this summer, while any unspent monies will be applied toward tuition costs for the 2021 campaign.

All this while everyone continues to grapple with life’s uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that dramatically altered the summer camp scene in Connecticut. Several camps that traditionally cooperate annually with the Campership Fund for use of their facilities opted not to open this summer because of the pandemic.

During the Campership Fund’s 50th anniversary year in 2019, 434 underprivileged youngsters were sent to various camps at a cost of $157,457.

The United Way of Greater Waterbury volunteers its professional services each year 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 and Woodbury, are eligible to apply for camperships.

Every penny raised by the Campership Fund, a 501(c)3, goes toward sending accepted applicants to camp. Donations are accepted year round.

Contributions may be sent to Greater Waterbury Campership Fund, 389 Meadow St., Waterbury, CT 06722.

Regular donations totaling $450 received last week included:
• Anonymous, $250
• Mr. and Mrs. Donald and Joan Krantz, Middlebury, $100
• Fran and Mary Brennan, Middlebury, on behalf of Bill McEntee and his classmates from Wilby High School, $100