Greater Waterbury Campership Fund Update: As year ends, foundation looks solid

WATERBURY — The successful Greater Waterbury Campership Fund’s 2020 campaign heads into its final month having established a solid financial base to build upon heading into 2021.

Donations have reached $206,528 thanks to the generous support of individuals, businesses, schools, civic groups, church organizations and philanthropic entities that have muted the disappointment of not having a full-fledged summer camp season this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The contributions were more than enough to cover the tuition costs of $38,646 for the 72 area children who were able to experience a week of fun in the sun adventures. The campaign target goal of $165,000 also was exceeded in impressive fashion.

The fund’s all-volunteer board of directors will be discussing how to approach the 2021 campaign and where the monetary reserves will be designated. The Campership Fund, a 501(c) 3, is mandated to adhere to guidelines of no salaries for the volunteer board and no expenses, with every penny raised going to the cost of sending children to camp.

The Campership Fund has no offseason and donations are accepted year round. In a normal year unaffected by major crises, such as a virus health issue, special events like celebrity solicitations at Waterbury’s Palace Theater and the Big Green Truck Pizza fundraiser at the Greater Waterbury YMCA’s Camp Mataucha in Watertown also add to the kitty.

“I’ve been meaning to do it for quite a awhile,” said Carol Iannantuoni of Waterbury, who sent in a $100 donation last week in memory of her husband Joseph C. “Bucky” Iannantuoni and son Joseph Jr.

She said both her husband and son were involved with sports and coaching kids for years, so they had a close affinity to the needs and desires of less fortunate youngsters. Her husband was an assistant football coach at Sacred Heart High School for 30 years.

“We have to be thankful for all that we have,” Carol Iannantuoni said. “I do what I can.”

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.

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

Donations recently received for $100 included:

The Iannantuoni Family, Waterbury, in memory of Bucky Iannantuoni and Joseph Iannantuoni Jr., $100