Greater Waterbury Campership Fund Update: Retiree donates $100 to ‘make a child smile’

WATERBURY — Thomas Nalband is putting his retirement to good use by making sure others in need get the help they deserve.

“I was remiss in not making donations earlier,” said the former public defender who has started making donations to area charities. This year, the Greater Waterbury Campership Fund made his list and received a $100 contribution.

Explaining that he grew up in a tough neighborhood off Hillside Avenue in the city, he knew what it was like to have too much idle time on his hands that could lead to mischievous behavior.

“It’s good to get the kids off the streets in the summer and get them to a well-run camp, where they can breath the fresh air and have fun, and get away from all the negativity,” Nalband said. “You’re doing a great job with the program; keep up the good work.”

His intent, he said, simply was to “make a child smile.”

Nalband’s heartfelt donation helped nudge the Campership Fund’s 2020 campaign total to $167,494, which has surpassed the goal of $165,000 established by the fund’s all-volunteer board of directors in the spring. The COVID-19 limited the number of available camps and families who wanted to attend this year, but there still were 72 eligible youngsters who enjoyed participating area camps during the summer camping season at a cost of $38,646 for tuition fees.

All monies not used this year will be applied to future Camperships, staying true to the 501(c)3’s mandate of no salaries, no expenses, every penny raised going to the cost of sending children to camp.

The United Way of Greater Waterbury volunteers its professional services to assist the Campership Fund by overseeing the eligibility and application process.
This month, there’s a fun event coming up where Campership Fund supporters and enthusiasts can further bolster next year’s campaign.

Quassy Amusement and Water Park’s fall season weekend finale, “Wings & Things,” will benefit the program. The lunch event is Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 10 and 11, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. A portion of the proceeds will assist the Campership Fund.

Presale tickets are $26 per person and include the lunch with beverage, plus an all-day ride wristband. Visit and use the promo code FALLWINGS20 to purchase tickets.

The lunch will include three kinds of chicken wings, two sides and a beer or soda. A sandwich selection may be substituted for the wings.

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.

Large and small businesses, civic clubs and church groups, individuals, schools and philanthropic entities can continue to make donations to the cause, as contributions are graciously welcomed year round.

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

Donations recently received amounting to $300 included:
• Mr. and Mrs. Donald and Maria Michaud, Prospect, $100
• Holy Land USA of Waterbury board of directors, Waterbury, in memory of Helen J. Pagano, aunt of Chuck Pagano, board member, $100
• Mr. Thomas Nalband, Waterbury, “to make a child smile,” $100.