Greater Waterbury Campership Fund Update: Major gifts boost fund past its goal

WATERBURY — Contributions to the Greater Waterbury Campership Fund hit another impressive level last week thanks to the continued generosity of donors who look optimistically toward summer 2021.

Two significant gifts from Thomaston Savings Bank and Harold W. and Rita H. Smith of Middlebury helped move this year’s total to $170,417, surpassing the target goal of $165,000 set by the fund’s all-volunteer board of directors in the spring.

The bank’s contribution stems from its “Denim Days for the Community” initiative. Bank employees were allowed to wear casual dress to work if they made a donation to a pre-selected nonprofit agency within the area the bank serves.

The employees chose the Campership Fund as its agency to assist in August and subsequently raised $1,073. More than 100 employees throughout the bank’s coverage area took part.

The final tally for the 2020 summer camping season had 72 eligible youngsters heading off to participating area camps at a cost of $38,646 for tuition fees. That number is noticeably lower than typical years of more than 450 children to camp, because COVID-19 kept some parents cautious, some camps closed, and enrollment limited at those which did open.

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. Donations are accepted gratefully year round.

The United Way of Greater Waterbury volunteers its professional services to assist the Campership Fund by overseeing the eligibility and application process.

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.<t$>

Civic clubs and church groups, individuals, schools and philanthropic entities, large and small businesses continue to make donations to the cause throughout the year.

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

Donations recently received amounting to $2,398 included:
• Thomaston Savings Bank, Thomaston, $1,073
• Rita H. and Harold W. Smith, Middlebury, $1,000
• Mr. and Mrs. Rocco and Velma Pugliese, Woodbury, in memory of Margaret Rigsby, a beloved aunt and the very soul of generosity, $250
• Litchfield Ford, Litchfield, in memory of Ned Lahey, RIP, $50
• Mr. and Mrs. Luigi and Carmela Ciniglio, Southington, in memory of Sandra Cutrali, $25