WestConn honors Tony and Roberta Caraluzzi at its annual University Ball for their commitment to students and community.

The article below can be found at Western Connecticut State University’s website 

DANBURY, CONN. — When the Caraluzzi family celebrated the 50th anniversary in 1999 of the opening by patriarch Anthony Caraluzzi Sr. of his first grocery store in the Greater Danbury area, they did what came naturally — sharing their good fortune with the community that has supported the Caraluzzis loyally over more than half a century.

The founder’s son Anthony Caraluzzi Jr., who joined the business in 1969, succeeded his father as president of Bethel-based Caraluzzi’s Markets and, with his wife Roberta, watched generations of teen-aged employees grow up working at their supermarket to finance their education. In 1999, the family discovered the perfect match for their community-minded anniversary gift in the creation of a scholarship program dedicated to helping students begin and continue their studies at Western Connecticut State University.

WestConn will recognize Tony and Roberta Caraluzzi for their family’s contributions to the university and Greater Danbury communities as the honorees at the 22nd annual University Ball on May 3. This year’s Ball theme, “Escape to Tuscany,” will highlight an evening program of fine dining, dancing and a silent auction to raise academic enrichment and scholarship funds for the WCSU Foundation. Tony Caraluzzi Jr. serves as a member of the WCSU Foundation Board.

“Over the years, the generosity and initiative of the Caraluzzi family have made it possible for dozens of students to attend WestConn,” WCSU President James W. Schmotter observed. “In so doing, they have shared the benefits of their business success with the Bethel and Greater Danbury communities.

“They are an exemplar of corporate social responsibility, and we’re proud that our university has been a partner in their philanthropy,” Schmotter said. “I’m simply delighted that we are honoring Tony and Bert at this year’s University Ball.”

The seed that the Caraluzzi family planted a decade ago with their initial donation of $100,000 to found the Caraluzzi Scholarship Endowment has grown into a robust fund with resources totaling approximately $600,000. Grants awarded since 2001 have helped 60 undergraduate students to meet their educational costs at WestConn.

“I’ve often said that WestConn is a little gem in the Danbury area, and many of its graduates tend to stay in the area,” Tony Caraluzzi Jr. said. “So by supporting WestConn, we’re cultivating future employees for our businesses. This school is up to date in all facets of education, and teaches its students ethical business practices. In today’s environment, businesses are looking to recruit people who can bring skills like these to the table.”