ELMHURST – There was a rollicking party Saturday night in the back room at Fitz’s Spare Keys. Libations were flowing, a band was in fine form and good conversation abounded.
But through it all, the organizers of the this event didn’t lose sight of what it was all about – helping local children with medical problems in their time of need.
The Elmhurst Children’s Assistance Foundation was hosting its inaugural Beer, Bands & Bowling fundraiser to raise money for all the work it does in the community. And the sizable crowd on hand showed that there’s a lot of support in town for ECAF.
Board member Melissa Hahn reflected on the impact that ECAF has.
“It’s heartwarming,” Hahn said. “I know we’re raising money and helping people in need.”
History of helping
ECAF began in 1993 to help a single recipient, Brent Klosterman. But when that campaign was over, its founders wanted to continue the same kind of good work.
“We don’t announce anybody’s names,” Hahn said. “We donate based on need.”
Hahn talked about a recipient whose daughter was suffering from a brain tumor. When she learned that there was an experimental treatment overseas that might help, ECAF stepped in to help with the cost.
“We made her life a little easier,” Hahn said.
As the band The Pheromones rocked out with a series of crowd-pleasing cover songs, ECAF board member Kevin Diamond also chimed in on what has kept him involved for so many years.
Last year, ECAF was able to help fund a special playground at Butterfield Park with accessibility features for disabled children. He talked about seeing a mother and her autistic son enjoying the park shortly after it opened, and said she talked about how he often felt uncomfortable around other children at other playgrounds.
“They family really seemed to enjoy it,” Diamond said. “That’s what keeps you coming back.”