Greater Waterbury Campership Fund Update: Waterbury couple’s donation remembers beloved family friend

WATERBURY A couple recognizing and appreciating the outstanding character and goodness of a family friend once again has assisted the Greater Waterbury Campership Fund in its mission to send underprivileged area youngsters to camp.

Jeff and Marie Scanlon, of Waterbury, made a $200 donation to the 2021 campaign in “loving memory” of Frank A. Longo, of Cheshire. President and owner of Jo-Vek Tool & Die Manufacturing Co. in Bristol, Longo, 74, died peacefully at Saint Mary’s Hospital on Jan. 21.

“He always was helping kids, and he would give you the shirt off his back,” Marie Scanlon said, noting her daughter and a Longo daughter were friends since kindergarten.

Frank Longo was active at the Waterbury Boys & Girls Club and coached youth sports, Marie Scanlon said, and he simply was an all-around good guy.

“The Campership Fund, which I’ve donated to before in memory of someone, is a great cause, so we are happy to support it in Frank’s honor,” she said.

Contributions to the fledgling campaign of the new year have reached $54,504. The Campership Fund’s all-volunteer board of directors soon will announce its outlook, goals and disbursements for the 2021 camping season, one everyone hopes will be far less hampered by the coronavirus pandemic that dramatically altered the 2020 season.

Last summer 72 underprivileged kids from Greater Waterbury were offered camp at a tuition cost of $36,646. While 2020 was devoid of special events that in a normal year would augment donations, generous individuals, businesses, organizations, schools and philanthropic entities stepped up and still managed to raise $208,778 to easily cover the expense side of the ledger.

The Campership Fund, a 501(c) 3, is mandated to adhere to guidelines of no salaries for the board and no expenses; every penny raised goes to the cost of sending children to camp.

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.

The screening and eligibility processes for the Campership Fund are handled at no charge by the United Way of Greater Waterbury.

Donations to the Campership Fund are accepted year round. Contributions may be sent to Greater Waterbury Campership Fund, 389 Meadow St., Waterbury, CT 06722.

Donations recently received for $890 included:

Constance Wood, Middlebury, $365

Denise McDonald, Waterbury, in memory of Marilyn Gerace from her Wilby peers-Sue Cable, Kathy Dwyer, Cathy Emonds, Rosanne Rosa, Ginger Gorman, Peg O’Brien, Valerie Stolfi, Shirley Norman, Debra Balletto, Debbie Dunn, Kate Girouard, Patty Dawson, Denise McDonald, $325

Jeff and Marie Scanlon, Waterbury, in loving memory of Frank A. Longo, from the Scanlon Family, $200