Ninth Annual Auction Brings Together Child Center Families and Friends


Assistant Football Coach Lewis Acquarulo and Annual Fund Assistant Director Joann Acquarulo prepare to bid. The Acquarulo’s daughter, Lindsay, is in the Penguin toddler room at TC4.

Although officially called the Trinity College Community Child Center Wine Tasting and Auction, the annual event is less about wine and more about families and friends coming together to have fun and support a good cause. Indeed, at this year’s auction, held Friday, April 28, there were relatively few bottles of wine up for bid. There were plenty of other items, however—everything from framed art by the center’s children to tickets for Yankees and Red Sox games. After an evening of friendly though competitive bidding, more than $10,000 was raised to provide scholarship assistance for children of neighborhood families with financial needs.

The Center, or TC4 as it is affectionately known, has been a fixture on campus since 1985. At that time, a sub-committee of the President’s Special Council on Women determined that there was a need for a child center in the South End of Hartford. The College helped establish the center, which has remained an independent entity with its own governing board and administrative organization. TC4 draws children from throughout the Greater Hartford area, with approximately 25 percent of its slots filled by the children of Trinity faculty and staff.

Although the College does not subsidize the tuition costs for children of employees, many staff and faculty find that simply having the center on campus is a tremendous benefit. Assistant Professor of Political Science Stefanie Chambers, whose son is in TC4’s Penguin toddler room, says, “It’s such a treat if I run into Owen on campus when he’s out with his teachers on a walk.” She adds that the center offers more than just proximity. “I also love that the center maintains a high level of diversity, and the teachers are great. They’re like a second family.”

From the beginning, the center has reserved at least 25 percent of its slots for children of low-income families who live in Trinity’s neighboring community and need tuition assistance. Tuition assistance comes from a number of sources including proceeds from the annual auction. Each year the auction draws a good crowd and this year was no exception. Although not everyone got winning bids in on the items of their choice, everyone went home happy, knowing that their participation helped to strengthen the TC4 community.

Story contributed by Mark Hughes


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