The Fetchets memorial foundation set up a charitable scholarship fund in memory of their son, Brad, after his death in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. The purpose of the foundation is to make grants to enable need-based scholarships for Brad's alma maters, New Canaan High School and Bucknell University.
Over the last decade, the memorial foundation has donated more than $100,000 to the NCHS Scholarship Foundation.
"Once again this year, the Bradley J. Fetchet Memorial Foundation inspired us with their overwhelming generosity toward the NCHS community," said Bryan Luizzi, principal of NCHS and chairman of the scholarship foundation. "Through their continued support of the NCHS Scholarship Foundation, Frank and Mary Fetchet have helped countless students pursue their dreams and their futures."
Each year, the NCHS Scholarship Foundation raises about two-thirds of its funds from local businesses and organizations.
The Fetchet family's gift to the NCHS Scholarship Foundation, said Luizzi, "serves as a launch point for our efforts, all of which are dedicated to helping NCHS students and graduates in need. Their gift is a model of generosity and compassion, one that we hope others will be inspired to follow."
Frank Fetchet is confident that the New Canaan community will rise to the challenge again this year.
"New Canaan is a special place with families eager to help families, and individuals ready to help individuals," he said. "We all can give time, talent or treasure to any given cause. The people of New Canaan continue to step up and we know this will continue for the NCHS Scholarship Foundation."
Since 1967, the scholarship foundation has provided financial aid for NCHS graduates pursuing higher education. Last year, the foundation distributed more than $200,000 in the form of 81 need-based scholarships. Awards range from $500 to $10,000 based on financial need, with an average distribution last year of $2,533 per student.
The rising numbers of grant applications each year serve as a potent reminder of the rising costs of college tuition coupled with increased financial hardship in our community.
Mary DiCosmo, NCHS Scholarship Drive Committee co-chairman, recognizes the importance of the scholarships. "There are many people in need in our town who would really benefit from a scholarship to defray tuition costs. As parents, we know these kids have worked so hard to get into college. To be unable to attend due to cost would be a shame."
As part of its annual fundraising effort, the scholarship foundation is hosting Scholarship Sunday on April 7, when students will go door to door in New Canaan to collect donations. Donations may be handed to the student volunteers; sent by mail to the NCHS Scholarship Foundation, New Canaan High School, 11 Farm Road, New Canaan CT 06840, or made online at www.nchsscholarship.org. Checks should be made payable to "NCHS Scholarship Foundation."
For information about the memorial foundation, visit www.bradfetchet.com.