Annual Appeal 












You may recall 2018 at The Cove was the year of “Understanding.” 

Over the past twelve months artwork created by children at our seven Cove sites, our programs, and community outreach incorporated this theme.  Understanding the extent and impact of grief on children and their families is essential to convey the scope of our work; 1 in 5 children will experience the death of a loved one by the age of 18.  

We are grateful for our friends - like you - who understand and believe in our work.  Thank You.  

“Sharing” is The Cove's theme for 2019.  Sharing is not only relevant at the holiday season; it is a pillar of The Cove's mission.  Our peer-support model requires grieving children and families “to share their stories.”
Sharing - essential to healing - is at the heart of The Cove experience. Volunteers share the gifts of time and caring.  Educators and professionals share their knowledge and expertise. Individuals share the gift of generosity.

In this spirit, we proudly share our accomplishments with you. Last year nearly 2,000 people relied on The Cove:
   - 543 individuals joined our Family Program
   - 99 campers attended Camp Erin Connecticut
   - 45 individuals benefitted from new Cove in Schools groups
   - 70 volunteers received training and all contributed 14,000+ hours
   - and we fielded 1,200 referrals and outreach event engagements

As you know, The Cove's services for children and their families are provided free of charge. 

The Cove's ability to respond to those who turn to us depends on caring and committed individuals like you.  And, it is your personal support which truly makes our work possible. Thank You.

Today, I invite you to share the 'gift of generosity' by making your contribution to The Cove's 2018 Annual Appeal. 

Your gift will be used wisely, and I assure you it will change the life of a grieving child.  

Every gift in every amount – especially yours – fosters our mission.  Please, give as generously as you can to ensure healthy life changing outcomes for grieving children and teens.

May your New Year be blessed with hope and healing.

In gratitude,

Mary Andersen,  Former Executive Director    


PS: Will you please consider sharing your own story?   Why or how you became involved with, or benefitted from The Cove may encourage others to do the same. Visit us at

Here is a testimonial from a former Cove kid who shared his Cove story:

My father, Edward Riccio, passed away ten years ago.  'Eddy' was only 46 years old. I was six years old and my sister, Rosie, was ten. It was The Cove that helped us navigate the grieving process. I was in kindergarten and having a hard time making it through the day when my teacher recommended The Cove to my Mom. Twice a month we would meet with other families and talk. We'd share – as a group – how losing our loved one was affecting each of us differently. The kids in our age group did activities together.  That's when I realized I wasn't alone and that there were other kids - just like me – who lost a parent and knew what it was like to not have your Dad by your side at school and sporting events. The Cove took us from barely surviving to thriving!  Today I'm a Junior at Guilford High School and my sister Rosie is an E-4 Hospital Corpsman on the U.S.S. O'Kane.     ---Dominic Riccio - Former Cove kid

We ask for your support of our Annual Appeal so that we can raise funds to increase our ability to serve more children and families in Connecticut.  Our long-term goal is to open two more Cove sites, but we cannot acccomplish this without dedicated support in place in advance so that we are able to fully fund our current sites and programs. 


About The Cove:  We currently have 7 family sites in West Hartford, New Haven, Guilford, Meriden, Stonington, Easton (serving Fairfield County and Newtown) and East Hartford.   The Cove also provides Professional Development programming and community outreach as well as our "Good Grief" school program. We will partner with The Moyer Foundation to again offer Camp Erin CT for grieving children ages 6-17 years of age in June of 2019.With your support we will continue to touch the lives of the children and families that we serve in meaningful ways, as demonstrated by the testimonials from several Cove families below.



 “Our 6 year old son has really benefited from making friends with other children who have had loved ones die. After his little brother died, he was very angry, but has now learned to deal with his anger in good ways. The Cove has also been a good resource for my husband and I in learning how children deal with grief and how to help them through it.”  

  “My children had always felt "different" from their friends because they did not have a dad. The Cove helped them to see that they were not weird or alone. We have developed great friendships with the other families and I feel happy that my children have a place that can support them through their grief. We LOVE The Cove and the good work they do for so many families.” 

 “We attended The Cove for over three years. The Cove provided the comfort and support we needed during a very difficult time as well as connecting us with others who related to our sadness. The Cove was a place for my children to meet others who have also experienced a profound loss and it gave them the feeling of belonging.”  
“The Cove is a place that is very effective in helping building and strengthening families. Where we can learn from other parents and kids and get guidance from facilitators.  It’s a place where my son is able to find friends when being a teen boy whose father has died can be torture in school… feeling so out of place, different and lonely.  At The Cove we can find hope, hope that we can endure, hope to make it as a single parent… and hope that my kids will maybe be ok after all that has happened.”  
“The program has been amazing... it is a "safe" place where the kids all have loss and grief in common. They can express themselves freely without fear of being again the "different" one. They learn about ways to honor the memory of their missing loved one while moving on with their own lives. The volunteers are all so energetic and caring, they really enjoy helping others. There is such a need for this service in the community and these kids - and us as parents -  benefit so much by having this support group.”

 These testimonials speak eloquently to the need to support our Family Cove sites. We also provide referrals, outreach, Professional Development Training and Cove “Good Grief” in schools programming. 

Your donation will help us support and expand our programs so we can serve more children and families in 2018-19. On behalf of the grieving children and families of The Cove, we thank you for your support.


Check with your employer to see if they have a matching gift program to double the impact of your gift. 


Donors to Our Annual Appeal
FY 2018-19  THANK YOU!

Juana Adams in Memory of Anthony Adams
Marjorie and Victor Adler
Frederick and Barbara Alciati in Memory of Dorothy Camarra Sterpka for The West Hartford Cove
Patrick and Patricia Allen in Memory of Aunt Dorothy Joan Camarra Stepka for The West Hartford Cove
Mary Andersen in Memory of Chuck and Andrea Andersen
Phyllis Annunziata In Honor of Ashley Parker and DHHS
Anonymous for The West Hartford Cove
Asset Real Estate in Honor of Jeff Senkewitcz
Michael and Shelley Barker
Tim and Amy Barry
Thomas Beggins and Anne Hartford
Eileen Blair in Memory of Dorothy Sterpka for The West Hartford Cove
Maureen Shannon Bowers in Memory of Dorothy Sterpka for The West Hartford Cove
George Burnett in Memory of Dorothy Sterpka for The West Hartford Cove
Joan Cahill
Amy Carlin
Valentino and Sara Caruso in Honor of Ann Anderson
Arnold and Carolyn Cary
Matilda Cerasoli in Memory of Dorothy Joan Sterpka for The West Hartford Cove
Michele Chartier in Honor of Teena Arbo
Linda and Wayne Coats in Honor of Tony Biekert
Jeffrey and Karen Cohen
Nann Cooke
Alix and Josh Copel
Dean and Valerie Cordiano
William and Sharon Crain
DAS, Inc., Gary and Cynthia Galka in Memory of Melissa C. Galka
Tony and Sharon D'Amico in Honor of Mildred Pomfret Josie D'Amico
Frank and Suzi D'Annolfo in Memory of Dorothy Camarro Sterpka for The West Hartford Cove
William and Tara Dahill in Honor of Trudy Daly
Alexandra Daitch
Richard and Eileen Davis
Diane DeMarco in Honor of Laura Levis
Valerie DePaolo in Honor of Joe and Jack DePaolo-Boisvert
Thomas Deupree Trust
John Esposito In Honor of Laura DeCaprio Esposito
Aris Derderian in Memory of Dorothy Sterpka for The West Hartford Cove
Edwin and Carmen Diaz
Brian and Mary Downing
Jonathan and Cheryl Elliot
Bess Ensinger in Memory of Dennis Ensinger
David and Marcia Erskine
Tom and Kathleen Fahey in Memory of Dorothy Sterpka
Thomas and Anita Field in Honor of Amanda Lindsay Field Piper
Curtis Fisher
Johanna Fitzgerald
Timothy and Susan Flood
Denise Foley
The Fravel Family in Memory of Dorothy Sterpka for The West Hartford Cove
Kathryn Fravel in Memory of Dorothy Sterpka for The West Hartford Cove
Oksana Fravel in Memory of Dorothy Sterpka for The West Hartford Cove
Marilee Gagliardo in Memory of Dorothy Sterpka for The West Hartford Cove
Alexandra Aponte Garcia
Frank and Margaret Giordano in Memory of Dorothy Sterpka for The West Hartford Cove
Mark and Wendy Greenberg
Joseph and Heidi Groeger
Guilford Racquet and Swim Club
Erol and Karen Scherping Gulcicek
Edward and Maria Hargus
Jane Hikel in Memory of Dorothy Sterpka for The West Hartford Cove
Tricia Hirsch in Honor of Greg Pereira
Mitchell and Linda Hirsch
Eric and Meghan Hogarth
The JJK Foundation
Dwayne and Kimberly Johnston
Dr. Jeffrey and Mrs. Susan Palmer Klass
Allan and Eileen Kleban
JoAnn Laduke
Bo Laraia
Antoinette Lavieri
Jon and Nancy Leckerling
Thomas and Gazelle LeJeune
Brian and Ceclia Lenoci
Geoff Liggett
Milagros Lizarraga
William and Mariateresa Lombardi in Memory of Dorothy Sterpka for The West Hartford Cove
William and Monica Lynders
Kathleen MacDonald
Baxter and Barbara Maffett
Doreen Marino
The Stephan W. Marcucio Charitable Foundation for Battered Children
Maureen McDonald
Cathleen McInerney
Beth Mermann in Honor of Deedee and Sandy Prisloe
David Milano
Richard Minton In Memory of Sheila Minton
Richard and Susan Mulcunry In Memory of Danielle Plourde
New London Tel Emp CSF
Sandra Nix in Memory of Dorothy Sterpka for The West Hartford Cove
Peter Nogas, III in Memory of Dorothy Sterpka for The West Hartford Cove
The North Guilford Congregational Church
Amy Manacher Nulsen
Rita Nalebuff
Maria O'Brien and Gabriel Popescu
Stephanie Orton in Memory of Ethan Song
Owl Shop LLC
Austin and Terri Page in Memory of Dorothy Sterpka for The West Hartford Cove
Tricia Pereira in Honor of Greg Pereira
Victor Petrocelli in Honor of Joey and Gianni Niastroanni
Susan Piqueira in Memory of Dorothy Sterpka
John Porto
David and Patricia Pruett in Memory of Dorothy Sterpka for The West Hartford Cove
Jeff and Holly Ridgway
Margaret Riley In Memory of Mary Riley Emswiler
Lisa Roche
Ralph Rotermund In Honor of Renée McIntyre
Kathleen Sauer
Susan Schmidt
Adam Schwartzman
Steven Seldon, MD
Paul Serenbetz
Kathleen Sharpe in Memory of Kyle Smith
Anna Marie Simcic in Memory of Dorothy Camarra Sterpka for The West Hartford Cove
Sharon Smith In Memory of Michael Smith
Jerry and Shawn Smith In Memory of Kyle Elizabeth Smith
Francis Sobol
Jim and Joanne Sterpka in Memory of Dorothy Sterpka for The West Hartford Cove
Joann Stirling in Memory of Corrine Gallagher
J.J. Sullivan Inc.
Urbane Hair Salon
Douglas and Karen Van Dyke in Memory of Rob Novok
Amy Vender
Greg Walker
James and Martha Warner
Mary White
Martha Wieler
Dr. and Mrs. Richard Whelan
Albert Wilson in Honor of Richard Wilson
Stephen Wilson
Lisa Wohlert
Dean Yatrousis
Joseph Zelson
Dean Yatrousis
Joseph Zelson