Greater Waterbury Campership Fund Update: Donations continue despite camping season coming to a close

WATERBURY — The kids are back at school, either in person or virtually or both, and the 2020 summer camping season has come to a close.

Nevertheless, donations continue to roll in for Greater Waterbury Campership Fund, a welcome and optimistic gesture for summer 2021.

Contributions have reached $166,794 for 2020, surpassing the target goal of $165,000 set in the spring by the Campership Fund’s board of directors, and more than adequate to cover the $38,646 in tuition fees for the 72 eligible underprivileged youngsters from the area who attended summer camp the past three months.

All money donated but not used for tuition in 2020 will be applied to 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.

During the course of the fall season the volunteer board will be sizing up how to proceed with the 2021 Campership Fund campaign, one that all supporters hope will not be significantly altered by the COVID-19 pandemic that drove the number of campership applications and participating facilities down this year.

Families who receive SNAP benefits or meet federal poverty guidelines, and with children ages 5 to 18, living in Bethlehem, Cheshire, Middlebury, Prospect, Southbury, Thomaston, Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott and Woodbury, are eligible to apply for camperships. The United Way of Greater Waterbury volunteers its services to manage the application and eligibility process.

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

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

Regular donations totaling $200 received recently included:

• Mrs. Bonnie Veillette, Naugatuck, in memory of Robert D. Veillette, managing editor of the Republican-American who was a Campership Fund director and loyal supporter of the cause, $100

• Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey and Patricia Schmierer, Brookfield, in memory of Sandra Cutrali, $75

• Volain & Volain, PC, Hamden, in memory of Sandra Cutrali, $25