Greater Waterbury Campership Fund Update: Fund exceeds goal; directors look toward 2021 campaign

WATERBURY — Although the 2020 Greater Waterbury Campership Fund season will be forever marked with an asterisk for the impact of an extraordinary COVID-19 pandemic-altered year, loyal campership supporters still came through.

Donations to this year’s campaign have reached $166,594, exceeding the $165,000 goal set by the fund’s all-volunteer board of directors in the spring before the full effects of the pandemic kicked in.

There were 72 eligible youngsters granted campership slots for the slightly abbreviated summer camping season, costing $38,646 in tuition fees.

In 2019, 434 underprivileged children were awarded camperships at a cost of $157,457.

The Campership Fund’s volunteer directors this fall will be discussing how to proceed with the 2021 Campership Fund campaign. All money donated but not used for tuition in 2020 will be used for future Camperships; some may be directed to the Next 50 fund, created in 2019 to mark the nonprofit’s 50th anniversary and intended to prevent any year when tuition money falls short.

“We look forward to next summer, when we hope life, including summer camp, is more back to normal, and we can send hundreds of children off to this life-changing experience,” said Anne Karolyi, president of the fund and managing editor of the Republican-American and The Sunday Republican, the Campership Fund’s main supporter. “One heart-warming part of this pandemic has been seeing how many friends of Campership continued to donate, even when the season was uncertain, because they know we will help as many kids as we can, no matter how long it might take under current circumstances.”

The Campership Fund remains rooted in its no salaries, no expenses mandate. All donations marked for tuition pay only for tuition; all other services or expenses must be donated; and the board of directors volunteer their time and talents. Along with Karolyi, the board includes secretary Karen Montini of the Republican-American, treasurer and community volunteer Michael Mucciacciaro. attorney Jack Senich, Barbara Davitt of WATR, Rosemary Brigilia of Thomaston Savings Bank, Kevin Taylor of Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Waterbury, and community volunteers Susan Beatty, Allison Dederer Romano, and Sandra Monteiro.

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.

Contributions are accepted year round from generous individuals, large and small businesses, civic clubs and church groups, schools, philanthropic entities and special events. The Campership Fund is a 501(c)3.

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

Regular donations totaling $5,900 received recently included:

• From the Estate of Leslie Beland, Wolcott, $5,000
• Mr. and Mrs. Rocco M. and Velma Pugliese, Woodbury, in blessed memory of Sandra Cutrali, $250
• Mr. and Mrs. Phil and Mary Brigham, Litchfield, in memory of Sandra Cutrali, $200
• Mr. and Mrs. Alan and Barbara Behan, Waterbury, in memory of Sandra Cutrali, $200
• Ms. Marie Scanlon, Waterbury, in memory of Peggy Soto from Carol, Marie and Liz, her loving nieces, $150
• Mr. and Mrs. David and Alisa Rizzuti, Waterbury, in memory of Sandra Cutrali, $50
• Mr. and Mrs. Bill and Maria Colacrai, Cheshire, in memory of Sandra Cutrali, $25
• Mr. and Mrs. George and Karen Korner, New Canaan, in memory of Sandra Cutrali, $25