Emil J. Varga Catholic School Fund
Est. in 2020 by Martha Dulla-Andrade in memory of Emil Varga to benefit Assumption School in Ansonia, CT.
Martha Dulla-Andrade has a longstanding history with the Valley Community Foundation (VCF). “Back when I owned Grassy Hill Lodge in Derby, I recall many VCF meetings taking place there,” she said. “I still volunteer on VCF’s Community Grants Committee each year and have known about the organization’s reputation and collaboration with so many area nonprofits. VCF has a track record of always being at the forefront of meaningful Valley activities.”
As a result, Martha has entrusted VCF with a special task: remembering her mother’s cousin Emil J. Varga. “I called him my uncle and was very close to him,” she said. Emil lived in New Jersey until he fell ill. “I was his only family and the drive back and forth to check in on him was becoming too much so I moved him to Connecticut to live with me, where I could take care of him,” Martha said.
Despite living with cerebral palsy and, later in life, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Emil would spend his free time volunteering at the local soup kitchen or food pantry in New Jersey. “He was a special man who would simply rather give to others than receive. That was his motto and that is really how he lived his life,” Martha added.
“He walked everywhere he could, even in the cold, to offer his time and services to those in need,” Martha said. “He was a teacher for more than 30 years who loved his community and was incredibly generous.”
Throughout his life, Emil lived frugally and simply, and he wanted to make a difference in the futures of children. He was also Catholic and the church was an extremely important part of his life. “After Emil passed, I wanted to honor him and the ideals that he held so close,” she continued. “This fund will support students in any grade at Assumption School in Ansonia but can also be used to support teachers and curriculums. If there is a pressing need, this fund can be used for that as well. For instance, sometimes there are mandates that may require additional teacher certifications and the school might not have the money to fund that.”
Emil’s faith and conviction always impressed Martha. “He would say, ‘If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything,’ and that you need faith in your life,” she said. “It’s heartwarming to be able to say that VCF is and will continue to be there to help in times of need. Through this fund, I am thankful that VCF will perpetuate the values that such a good person like Emil lived by.”
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