about ECAF

Our Misson

At the Elmhurst Children’s Assistance Foundation, our dedicated mission is to extend essential financial support to families residing in or affiliated with the Elmhurst community, whose children are courageously confronting medical or disabling conditions. We recognize the profound impact of mounting, unpaid medical expenses on these families, both financially and emotionally.

“The gift of the Pool Life Chair Lift has been instrumental in our ability to serve the community. We are now able to provide pool access for children and adults with special needs. It is used regularly by a number of people of all ages, and with all …”
Angie Flesch, Elmhurst YMCA

About ECAF

Elmhurst Children’s Assistance Foundation also known as ECAF, exists to assist families whose children are affected by serious medical or disabling conditions and live in or are connected to our community. The emotional impact of unpaid medical expenses may seem overwhelming to the family as they mount.

As a result of the community’s generosity, Elmhurst Children’s Assistance Foundation is able to offer financial assistance and let families know they are not alone. We are here to help, and the names and information provided by families in need are kept confidential to ensure your privacy.

As another outstanding example of why Elmhurst is a special place for families, the Elmhurst Children’s Assistance Foundation has never been stronger or more committed to its mission.

Helping those in need

By contributing to the Elmhurst Children’s Assistance Foundation, you have the opportunity to directly impact families in our community who are facing the challenges of medical or disabling conditions in their children. Your support provides vital financial assistance to these families, alleviating the heavy burden of unpaid medical bills and helping them navigate through emotionally challenging times. By joining hands with us, you become a crucial part of a compassionate network that is making a tangible difference in the lives of those who need it most, fostering a stronger and more resilient community for all.

Thank you in advance for your compassion and generosity.

Our History

Elmhurst Children’s Assistance Foundation

“If a person came to you for help, you could give them a small amount of money, but if you were involved in a community group, you could take care of whole families”
Frank Catalano, Sr.

The Elmhurst Children’s Assistance Foundation (ECAF) has a history rooted in community support and assistance for families facing critical illness or life-changing medical challenges in Elmhurst, Illinois.

  • Establishment as the Brent Klosterman Foundation, Inc. (June 30, 1993): The foundation was originally founded as the “Brent Klosterman Foundation, Inc.” in 1993. The foundation’s inception was prompted by the diagnosis of leukemia in Brent Klosterman, a child residing in Elmhurst. The stress and financial burden placed on the Klosterman family led to the Elmhurst Jaycees’ initiative to help through fundraising efforts.
  • Passing of Brent Klosterman (June 5, 1992): Tragically, Brent Klosterman passed away on June 5, 1992. Despite this loss, the Elmhurst Jaycees remained committed to supporting local families dealing with critically ill children.
  • Formation of The Brent Klosterman Foundation: Following Brent’s passing, members of the Elmhurst Jaycees came together to establish “The Brent Klosterman Foundation.” This foundation was created with the aim of continuing to assist local families facing the challenges of having a critically ill child. The first Board of Directors was composed of Frank Catalano, Jr., Ed Enyart, Peggy Fisher, Ken Larson, and Duncan Skogsberg.
  • Change of Name to the Elmhurst Children’s Assistance Foundation (June 1997): In June 1997, the organization changed its name to the “Elmhurst Children’s Assistance Foundation” (ECAF). This name change reflects its broader mission of providing financial assistance to local families with critically ill children or those facing life-changing medical challenges.

Today, ECAF remains dedicated to its mission of offering financial support to families in the Elmhurst community dealing with the immense emotional and financial burdens associated with caring for critically ill children. Through fundraising efforts and community support, it continues to make a positive impact on the lives of these families.

where we help

Assistance Provided

When a child is diagnosed with a medical problem the whole family is impacted, emotionally and often financially. Medical expenses not typically covered by insurance can begin to mount. ECAF exists to provide financial assistance to these families based on need. The types of assistance provided over the years include…

How we help individuals

  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Visual Therapy
  • Behavioral Therapy
  • Assisted mobility devices
  • Medical equipment and supplies
  • Medical bills
  • Augmentative communication devices
  • Special needs camps
  • Adaptations to family vehicles
  • Special dietary requirements

How we help organizations

  • Elmhurst YMCA – automated chair lift for swimming pool
  • DuPage Easter Seals – Mars suit for physical therapy department
  • Elmhurst Memorial Hospital – Augmentative communication device
  • Elmhurst CUSD 205 Transition Program – taxi vouchers for vocational training
  • Center for Independence – physical therapy equipment