By SHERIDAN ROY
The Calvanese Foundation celebrated 20 years of charity work in the town of Southington at the annual gala on April 6 at the Aqua Turf Club.
Live and silent auctions went on through the evening, paired with dinner and live music. All of the auction items were donated by local businesses and organizations, and proceeds benefit the Calvanese Foundation, which in turn funds projects that benefit the Southington community.
Almost 90 auction items were donated, including jewelry, autographed sports memorabilia, vacations, gift baskets, cooking classes and much more. In addition, the remaining eight apples from the Apples & Arts program were auctioned off.
“The Calvanese Foundation was started in memory of my grandparents, Joe and Kay, who started the Aqua Turf Club 50 years ago this year. They were committed to fostering a strong sense of community and believed in helping one another and giving back,” said the foundation’s vice president Lauren Forgione. “The Foundation’s mission is to continue that tradition and help the community as a whole.”
The foundation has given more than $2,500,000 back to the town over the years and remains a 100 percent volunteer organization.
“To date, we have reached almost every segment of the community from the less fortunate, handicapped and ill, senior citizens and youth of the town,” said Forgione. “None of this would be possible without all of the individuals, businesses, volunteers, and everyone here who has supported the foundation over the past 20 years.”
Grants from the foundation have aided the fire department, police, the local YMCA, the parks and recreation department, the Southington Public Library, Bread for Life, the Calendar House and dozens of other organizations.
A high school scholarship fund was also created in memory of Kay Calvanese for students pursuing a career in nursing. It has been awarded to one student each year since 1982.
Funds given back to the community through the Calvanese Foundation are closing in on $3 million. To learn more about the foundation or to apply for a grant, visit calvanesefoundation.org.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Roy, email her at SRoy@SouthingtonObserver.com.