Greater Waterbury Campership Fund Update: Fund receives donation from Santa himself

WATERBURY — There’s no arguing that Santa Claus seemingly knows everything about everybody, especially who has been naughty or nice.

The Jolly Ol’ Elf has put the Greater Waterbury Campership Fund in the latter category, fortunately.

“Santa” sent in a gift card for $100 for the Campership Fund, which has been graciously accepted. Because gift cards cannot be cashed and put toward tuition costs for camp, the $100 will be treated as a sponsorship toward the costs of a future fundraising event, such as the next Big Green Truck Pizza party that can be held when the country is freed from the COVID-19 pandemic’s grip on our activities and lives.

The 51-year-old Campership Fund operates under bylaws that say all donations go toward the cost of sending local, underprivileged children to summer camp, and the cost of any expenses, such as the Big Green Truck, advertising, or prizes, must be donated specifically for that purposes or paid for with sponsorship money.

“It will be a great day when we can put Santa’s $100 toward an event expense, because that means we’ll be able to get together in the name of helping kids get to camp, and for everything else in life,” said Anne Karolyi, managing editor of The Sunday Republican, Republican-American and, and president of the nonprofit Campership Fund. “It is a positive and forward-looking gift.”

With three more weeks to go in the 2020 Campership Fund campaign, donations are holding at $206,703. Even with the massive disruptions to everyone’s lifestyles by the COVID-19 pandemic, generous contributions covered the tuition costs of $38,646 for the 72 area youngsters who headed off to various camping facilities in the state the past summer.

The campaign target goal for the year had been $165,000.

The Campership Fund, a 501(c) 3, is mandated to adhere to guidelines of no salaries for the all-volunteer board and no expenses, with every penny raised going to the cost of sending children to camp. The directors make specific appeals for sponsorships and donations to cover expenses of fundraising events, to keep true to the intention of the fund’s founders a half-century ago.

The Campership Fund is a year-round operation so contributions are welcome any time. Large and small businesses, enthusiastic individuals, church groups and civic organizations, schools and philanthropic entities annually support the Campership Fund that celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019.

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.