Greater Waterbury Campership Fund Update: Thomaston Savings Bank’s ‘Denim Days’ gives $1K boost to fund

WATERBURY — The Greater Waterbury Campership Fund is the beneficiary of a thoughtful fundraising event by employees of Thomaston Savings Bank.

The bank’s “Denim Days for the Community” initiative, which allows bank employees to wear casual dress to work when they make a donation to a pre-selected nonprofit agency located within the area the bank serves, garnered $1,073 for the Campership Fund.

The employees chose the Campership Fund as their August agency to assist.
“The bank is always interested in supporting the nonprofit sector in the towns that we serve,” said Cheryl Lindstrom, the bank’s community outreach coordinator. “There’s no better segment to serve than the kids.”

Lindstrom said about 107 employees spread out over 14 bank branches took part in the effort. Participation likely would have been higher, she noted, if employees still working from home had gone casual on-site like their co-workers in the buildings.

“This was a great opportunity to help get some kids off to camp,” Lindstrom said.
In a formal notification letter of the pending gift to Anne Karolyi, managing editor of the Republican-American and The Sunday Republican and president of the fund, Lindstrom said “We are proud to be able to contribute to your organization’s most worthy cause.

“Thank you and the Greater Waterbury Campership Fund board of directors for all you do in providing life-changing experiences for local children who would not otherwise have the means.”

Dress-down days, or “Casual Fridays” in some instances, are among the ways the Campership Fund sustains its fundraising revenue intake throughout the year. Large and small businesses, civic clubs and church groups, individuals, schools and philanthropic entities also make generous donations to the cause, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit program.

Special events also take place throughout the course of a campaign year, but 2020 was like no other and that component was severely restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bank’s gift will push the 2020 contribution total past the $166,994 collected so far, with that level already exceeding the target goal of $165,000 set by the board of directors in the spring. The $38,646 in tuition fees for the 72 eligible underprivileged youngsters who did attend area participating camping facilities this summer easily was covered.

All money donated, but not used for tuition in 2020, will be applied to future Camperships. Some also 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.

Lindstrom said the bank employees are happy their donation can bolster the Campership Fund “even if it’s next 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 may be sent to Greater Waterbury Campership Fund, 389 Meadow St., Waterbury, CT 06722.

Donations recently received amounting to $200 included:

• Cardiology Department, Western Connecticut Medical Group, Nuvance Health, $110
• Mr. and Mrs. Jerry and Carolyn Soltis, in memory of Tom O’Leary, $50
• Mr. and Mrs. Robert and Marie Sweeney, Middlebury, in memory of Sandra Cutrali, $40