Eckhart trust fund helps those facing hard times

February 4, 2017 Cranberry Local News

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ZELIENOPLE — For about 35 years now, a local fund has aided borough residents suffering from sickness.

Howard E. Eckhart’s trust fund helps an average of four people each year, said Mayor Tom Oliverio.

“It’s been very good,” Oliverio said. “It’s been very helpful to people who have cancer and polio.”

Oliverio said no one has received help from the funding yet this year.

The fund was originally intended to help people who had polio, which Eckhart himself suffered from.

Eckhart was active in the borough’s Little League baseball program, serving as commissioner in the mid-1950s. He died in 1965 at the age of 72.

The money also can be used for cancer patients.

“We hope this stays forever,” Oliverio said. “Our No. 1 goal is to keep this fund as long as we can.”

The fund helps patients with costs for medicine, food, medical bills, home care, rides to the hospital or other necessities.

Patients need to submit an application to a trust board member to be considered for aid. The board reviews the application and visits the patient to determine individual needs.

The board consists of representatives from two Zelienople Lutheran churches, a NexTier Bank official, the borough council president and the mayor. NexTier Bank is where the trust money is kept.

Last year, the fund helped one resident suffering from leukemia.

Applicants must live in the borough and experience financial hardships.

“If there are people out there who need help, don’t be shy,” Oliverio said. “We’re well-satisfied with the people we have been able to help.”

For information, contact Oliverio at 724-452-8685.

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