Anthony and Roberta Caraluzzi
When the Caraluzzi family members celebrated the 50th anniversary in 1999 of the opening by patriarch Anthony Caraluzzi Sr. of his first grocery store in Greater Danbury, they did what comes naturally — sharing their good fortune with the community that has supported the Caraluzzis loyally for 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 recognized Tony and Roberta Caraluzzi for their family’s contributions to the university and local communities as the honorees at the 22nd annual University Ball on May 3. 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 said. “In so doing, they have shared the benefits of their business success with the community.”
The seed that the Caraluzzi family planted a decade ago has grown into a robust fund. Grants awarded since 2001 have helped about 60 undergraduate students to meet their educational costs. Since its creation, the scholarship fund had been supplemented with proceeds from the Annual Holiday Wine Tasting, sponsored by the Caraluzzi family.
“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.”