The visibility of the Echo Charitable Foundation arguably has fallen because the group has not held a fundraiser since 2020, but the group continued to get support and help Brookfield High School alumni who faced unexpected expenses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We continued to get support from the community over those three years,” said board member Denny Eli, and funds also went out to needy families “without any trouble.”
The foundation’s fundraiser returns Feb. 17 with a dinner and dance, concert by country-rock musician Chris Higbee and basket raffle at Yankee Lake Ballroom. It is the foundation’s only fundraiser.
The foundation – Echo stands for “every class helping others” – was created in 2009 by the Class of ’71, but members of other classes have joined the board. It is a fund of the Community Foundation of Western PA and Eastern OH, Sharon, and all donations and applications for assistance go through the Community Foundation.
“For some reason, there weren’t as many applicants during that time period (COVID) but this past year there was quite a few,” said board member Todd Fencyk. “Some were personal reasons. Some were related to the weather. We helped a person down in Florida because of hurricane damage.”
The applications are reviewed by a subcommittee of the Echo committee, and all identifying information is stripped from them before the full committee votes on them.
The committee has helped about 65 families over the years.
There are people who are not committee members who still want to support the committee’s efforts. Many of them help at the fundraiser by setting up or overseeing activities.
The committee members said they don’t know what to expect in terms of attendance on Feb. 17, noting that traditionally most tickets are sold the last two weeks before the event.
“No matter what, we’re gonna have a good fundraiser,” Eli said. “If there’s not quite as many people, everybody’s gonna walk out with one heck of a nice basket.”
You don’t have to be a Brookfield alum to attend the fundraiser, and the committee noted that Higbee brings in some folks who just want to see him.
Doors to the event open at 5 p.m., and dinner is served from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Musician Kevin Dale will perform before Higbee, and disc jockey Bob Vaia will spin tunes when the live music is not playing.
Tickets cost $45 and are available at Yankee Lake Party Center, 1800 Route 7; Laddie’s Sky Club, 8199 Warren Sharon Road, Masury; Warehouse Sales, 200 Silver St., Sharon; and Shampooch, 2005 Pine Hollow Blvd., Hermitage.
Anyone interested in becoming a member or looking for more information can call Eli at 330-503-1044 or Richard Pavone at 330-272-6508.
Applications for assistance are available on the foundation’s Facebook page or at the Community Foundation, 7 W. State St., Sharon.
Donations can be made to the Community Foundation. Write Echo Charitable Fund in the memo line of any checks.