WCSU to sponsor carnival to benefit Wounded Warrior Project


DANBURY, CONN. Western Connecticut State University will hold its second annual carnival to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, on the lawn of the Science Building on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. Admission will be $10 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. The carnival will feature a live band, a meet-and-greet with veterans, carnival games, inflatables, a volleyball competition and an all-you-can-eat barbecue. WCSU students will be admitted free with valid school I.D. All proceeds benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit national effort to aid injured and ill service members by providing programs and services tailored to their ever-evolving needs in addition to raising public awareness and enlisting community support.

Maribeth Griffin, WCSU director of residential programs and staff, oversaw the organizing of the event. “The carnival is a significant event for Danbury because it brings home the idea that even if you may not know someone personally who has served, these people are still out there and in need of our support.”

The carnival was first co-chaired and organized by Jesse Meade and Nicolle Donadio, WestConn students and Litchfield Hall residents at the time. Meade, a resident assistant, and Donadio, an academic resource mentor for Litchfield Residence Hall, brought their plan to host a fundraising event to the university’s housing office to gain their support and so that the event could become part of the hall’s programming, thus allowing for a wide outreach.

A member of the 143rd Military Police Company and just deployed to Afghanistan with the Army National Guard for 10 months, Meade felt compelled to assist injured and ill veterans.

“Because of the student’s close attachment to the issue it was a nice way for him to contribute and show support,” Griffin said. Meade received further confirmation that the event truly does make a difference after seeing aid being provided to a friend who had been injured at war.

Donadio, a senior nursing student, remains chair of the committee as the cause holds special significance to her as well. She is a member of the CT National Guard and will become a combat medic after completing advanced individual training next summer. Meade and Donadio received a Connecticut Higher Education Community Service Award this year for their dedication to raising awareness and support for veterans.

This year, the goal is to expand the carnival by involving more local organizations and volunteers to make it bigger and better. Griffin said the carnival is mostly about having fun, yet at the same time is also intended to “open students’ eyes to the difficult transition of being deployed and adjusting back to campus life.” She said it is important to encourage students to think more consciously about the veterans among us, how campus life can affect them and the sensitivity that must be shown toward their needs.” Sometimes students forget that it’s the very people around them who are going off to war and we may not always know who’s a vet or who’s soon to be deployed because they don’t always like to identify themselves.

“The fact that we have veterans and students on campus is just one of our wonderful diversities here at WestConn,” Griffin added. “The carnival is a way to say thank you and recognize that they’re around us.”

For more information, call (203) 837-8486.


Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.


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