December 21, 2017 Melissa Lamar

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Tunxis Community College Veterans’ OASIS received a $10,000 donation from Dr. Peter Jannuzzi and Tom Mazzarella on December 12 to help Tunxis student veterans.

The funds will cover operational costs for the Veterans’ OASIS and help student veterans with health services not covered through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Some funds will also be allocated for a $500 scholarship over two years that can be used for student veteran expenses.

Mazzarella and Jannuzzi (in center holding check) are shown with Tunxis student veterans and administration from Tunxis and the CT State Colleges & Universities.

Jannuzzi, a Unionville pediatrician and veteran, collaborated with Southington-based video producer Mazzarella on a GoFundMe campaign fundraiser to create the music video “American Way,” a song Jannuzzi wrote and recorded for past OASIS fundraising efforts. Word spread quickly on social media, with over 60 donors, 14,000 page views, and 400 Facebook shares of the campaign.

“We are grateful for this generous donation and Dr. Januzzi’s continued support of our veterans,” said Dr. James Lombella, Interim President of Tunxis Community College. “Donations like these provide critical support to our student veterans as they reacclimate and work toward their college degrees.”

Tunxis opened the Veterans OASIS in 2009 to provide a place for Tunxis student veterans to meet, study and socialize between classes. The OASIS, which stands for Operation Academic Support for Incoming Service members, is part of a larger initiative started in 2008 by the Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs to form OASIS centers at all of Connecticut’s public colleges and universities where returning veteran students can connect, study, encourage each other and share their experiences as they transition back into civilian life and pursue their studies. All of Connecticut’s public colleges have special space dedicated to veterans.

In its first two years, the Veterans’ OASIS was funded through donations from the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of CT. Now it operates soley on donations from individuals and community organizations.

Jannuzzi and Mazzarella’s GoFundMe web page for Tunxis student veterans can be viewed at Tax-deductible donations to the Veterans’ OASIS can also be made by sending a check payable to the Veterans’ OASIS to Tunxis Community College Foundation, located at 271 Scott Swamp Rd. in Farmington.

Tunxis offers over 60 associate degrees and certificates that prepare students for transfer to four-year degrees and transition into the workforce with such programs as: accelerated business administration; computer information systems; criminal justice; early childhood education; energy management, engineering; graphic design; liberal arts and sciences; pathway to teaching careers, and technology. For those who seek the flexibility of learning off-campus, online degree programs and certificates are also available.