Greater Waterbury Campership Fund Update: Momentum continues to build toward 2021

WATERBURY — The presidential election may be over, but Greater Waterbury Campership Fund’s momentum just keeps on building toward 2021.

Recent contributions have moved the 2020 donation total to $206,028, thanks in a large part to bequests from estates and generous donations made in support of sending underprivileged youngsters off to summer camp. And while the year’s target goal of $165,000 already has been exceeded, an opportunity exists to keep the Campership Fund on solid financial ground.

The Campership Fund’s volunteer board of directors in 2019, the 50th anniversary year of the nonprofit program, created a Next 50 fund that will be tapped into for any year when tuition might fall short. Contributors can specifically ask their donations go into Next 50 so future generations of kids can enjoy the benefits of summer camp fun.

All money donated this year that went beyond covering the $38,646 tuition costs for 72 campers in 2020 will be used for future Camperships, some of which may be directed to Next 50.

The board is optimistic the 2021 Campership Fund season will be far less affected by the pandemic or other crises than this year.

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

The Campership Fund, a 501 (c) 3, is mandated to hold fast to guidelines of no salaries, no expenses and every penny raised going to the cost of sending children to camp. Donations are accepted year round.

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.

Individuals, civic clubs and church groups, large and small businesses, schools and philanthropic entities support the Campership Fund cause year round through their contributions. Proceeds from special events or employee-driven in-house activities, such as

“Casual Friday” dress-down days, also augment the fund.

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

A donation most recently received was from:

• Ms. Sharon Flowers, Waterbury, in memory of Larry and Paul Flowers, $50.