Tagged: fundraiser

Former student is back, organizing a successful basketball tournament for WCS

Posted on October 9, 2018. Category: WCS News

For more than 90 years Waterford Country School has worked to meet the special needs of children and families at risk. Over the years, the services and programs have evolved with the transitions that life and community present. Through it all, the mission and high standards of care have remained constant. Together with a highly dedicated and skilled staff, Board of Trustees and many friends in the community, we have developed an extensive array of programs and are committed to the spirit of doing “Whatever It Takes.” The community works hard to ensure that each child entrusted to our care is given the opportunity to grow, learn, and develop at his or her own pace.

Years later, one of Waterford Country School’s  own residents has come back to the WCS community as an effort to give back. He is currently working at Waterford Country School as a child care worker, making connections and using his own story to build a relationship with WCS students. On a warm August day, teams gathered in the Waterford Country School gymnasium for the 3rd Annual Basketball Tournament hosted by former WCS kid, Davonta Valentine. At the age of eleven years old, Davonta moved to the town of Waterford living in a residential group home called Thomas Bent Shelter (at Waterford Country School) for about ten months. Through the support of the staff at Waterford Country School, Davonta had the opportunity to attend the local public elementary school in Waterford. While attending school, he met a paraprofessional who would change his life forever. After spending some time and learning Davonta’s story,

the paraprofessional – Susan Picardi took him in at the age of 12 years old. The Picardi family embraced the young athlete Davonta and he found a permanent family in Waterford when he was adopted by the Picardi’s at 18 years of age. Davonta went on to attend Salve Regina University to both earn his degree in Criminal Justice and continue his passion for basketball. After years spent away from Waterford Country School, he felt a calling to return “home” and give back to a school that gave him so much.

The idea was inspired while he was working at a school in Montville. He found himself in classroom discussing with

peers what they would want to do in life that will help others. In the moment, Davonta knew he wanted to combine his passions: basketball and giving back. In 2015, he started a basketball tournament that gives back to “a place where he started a new life” before he was “taken into a beautiful family.” He recognizes that as a small non profit, every little bit helps for the Waterford Country School.

The tournament was completely organized and planned by Davonta and his support network. In it’s 3rd year, the tournament was hosted in the newly finished

Waterford Country School gymnasium, the place where his new life started. On August 19, 2018, nine teams, consisting of community friends and colleagues, attended the Third Annual Valentine Classic. Davonta felt the emotions of playing the game he loves in a place he will always care for. He recalls, “it was a sweet ending to an emotional day because the Waterford Country School Team won the entire tournament against my own team.” Davonta’s students were even able to help out at the tournament giving out waters and snacks. Engaging the students made the event all the more special. The tournament brought everyone together for a day of fun and raised $700 for the children and programs at WCS.  Davonta remarks, “Above all, the Waterford Country School is home to me and I often think about where I would be if I didn’t end up here. I hope the ability to share my story with students encourages them to see that this is one chapter of their life, and what matters is where they go from here.” Davonta says without the support from WCS, and especially Bill Martin, the tournament would not have been as perfect as it was this year. He holds high hopes for next year’s tournament and the future of his own WCS students.



Kabaret for Kids Gala

Posted on April 13, 2018. Category:

gold rustic lights barn wood and farm animals at fundraising gala evening

The 14th Annual Kabaret for Kids Gala evening NOW featuring LIVE animal encounters with our very own farm and wildlife animals! Experience a bit of life at Waterford Country School with our most therapeutic partners…the animals.

Attendees to this one-of-a-kind event will enjoy a gourmet dinner, silent auction, live auction with hilarious auctioneer Kelly Walker, cash bar, unforgettable live performances and surprises throughout the night….all proceeds from this gala event benefit the children and families at WATERFORD COUNTRY SCHOOL. A great night for a GREAT cause!



Bring Your Mojo 2017 is HERE!

Posted on June 20, 2017. Category: Uncategorized, WCS News

7th annual bring your mojo golf tournament in memory of gary saunders to be held at great neck country club in waterford all proceeds to benefit waterford country school






Waterford Country School’s Golf Committee enthusiastically invites you to the 7th Annual “Bring Your Mojo” Golf Tournament on Thursday, Sept. 14th at the Great Neck Country Club in Waterford.

This is not your average fundraising tournament! The Bring Your Mojo Golf Tournament has become a SOLD OUT event! Each year there are new surprises as well as enthusiastic additions to the committee. This year Waterford Country School’s Golf Committee welcomes Maxwell Satti (ACE Hardware) and Gary Upton (UP Fitness) to the energetic planning team. The tournament is held in memory of founding family member, Gary Saunders, who passed away suddenly on Jan. 27, 2011. Bill Stanley from L and M Hospital takes a swing as one of the golfers for the Bring Your Mojo charity golf tournament to benefit waterford country school As a founding family member, Gary believed in Waterford Country School’s mission of doing “Whatever It Takes” to enrich the lives of children and families with specialized needs. Spurred on by Gary’s life and legacy, the Golf Tournament has raised over $250,000 since its inception! The funds raised helped Waterford Country School to finish Phase 1 of the Otto Graham Gymnasium and fully fund the Gary Saunders Fitness Center inside the gym. This year our goal is to fund the completion of the gymnasium which will include a large classroom for WCS kids, a kitchen, staff/family meeting room and the entryway. We can do it with your support!

Tournament day check-in begins at 11:30 a.m. with a Shotgun Start at 12:30 p.m.  Entrance fees are $166 per player, and include lunch, 18 holes of golf, greens fees, cart fees, as well as a steak and lobster dinner.  The annual golf event also features over 50 raffle items.happy golfers at great neck country club for the annual bring your mojo charity golf tournament to benefit waterford country school

The golf committee is seeking event sponsors, golfers and general supporters. All proceeds will benefit programs and services at Waterford Country School, located in Quaker Hill.  Last year, more than 120 golfers participated and raised over $70,000.  If you are interested in being a Sponsor or Golfer in the tournament, please contact the Development Office at 860.442.9454 or development@waterfordcs.org.


Country for a Cause – See Jason Aldean on May 19th!

Posted on May 4, 2017. Category: WCS News

Rock out AND support your favorite cause!

You’re invited! On May 19th, Jason Aldean will perform at Mohegan Sun Arena. We have a limited number of Skybox tickets available for this night of music and fun! For only $175 per person, you receive your concert ticket, food, beer and wine in a luxury skybox AND knowing that all the proceeds make a difference for children and families at Waterford Country School!!!! Don’t miss it! We thank you for your support!

Contact the Development office to purchase tickets: 860.442.9454 or development@waterfordcs.org

Jason Aldean fundraiser to benefit Waterford Country School skybox tickets for may 19 show

Kabaret For Kids 2017 is HERE!

Posted on January 19, 2017. Category: WCS News

Tickets are on sale NOW for the 13th annual Kabaret for Kids Gala.

Don’t miss this one of a kind event featuring a spectacular musical performance by Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s Young Fellows Program. Special performances by Braiden Sunshine (The Voice) and Brad Simmons (Young Fellows Program Director, musical director and peformer). Order your ticket online and find out all the details of this special night on the Kabaret for Kids page.


6th Annual Bring Your Mojo Golf Tournament

Posted on September 15, 2016. Category:

A benefit for Waterford Country School

A benefit for Waterford Country School

Our 2016 tournament in memory of Gary ‘Mr. Six’ Saunders is Thursday, September 15, 2016 at Great Neck Country Club located at 28 Lamphere Road in Waterford, CT.


Check in and lunch begins at 11:30 a.m. and a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. A steak and lobster dinner will follow a great day of golf.

To register as a player, sponsor or donate a raffle item, or if you need additional additional information, please call the Development Office at Waterford Country School, (860) 442-9454 x105.