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JOHNSTOWN — The Community Foundation’s 25th Anniversary celebration went off without a hitch. More than 425 people from Bedford, Cambria, and Somerset counties attended. The event was geared towards thanking the community for its support over the years and to show what the Foundation is all about. Now, two weeks later, CFA is hearing from those who attended about how beneficial the celebration was to them. This is one of those stories; this is ‘Ethel’s story.’

“We found out about the Foundation through Chillin’ for Charity,” said Rebecca Lindeman, President of the Ethel Fund. “It just seemed like the right thing to do to team up with them.”

It didn’t take long before the Ethel Fund was set up through the Foundation. It started after Lindeman’s family ended up fostering a three-and-a-half-week-old puppy with health problems in the spring of 2012.

“Last year, I helped save the life of a puppy. Her breeder could not afford a trip to the veterinarian, let alone extensive medical care,” said Lindeman. “He was breeding his dogs to supplement his meager income.”

Lindeman went on to say that raising a healthy animal is hard work and costs a lot of money; fostering an orphaned puppy with health problems was even more challenging.

“I didn’t want to get involved but, once I met her, I had no choice.”

The German Shepherd puppy’s medical costs sky rocketed. Lindeman said that complete strangers donated money to help and to cover Ethel’s care.

Lindeman was so touched by this, she decided to pay it forward and help other pets in need. That’s when ‘Ethel’s Fund’ was started.

“So many people helped me. It’s now my mission to help other people and their pets,” said Lindeman. “No one should have to choose between their family and pet’s needs.”

During the Foundation’s event Lindeman said she was able to meet a number of people, share ideas, and make connections to help out her mission, along with others. It was something she didn’t expect.

“We made incredible contacts that night, networking with other groups and to see what other people are doing with their funds,” said Lindeman. “The event encouraged us to do more not just for our own fund but the entire community.”

The fund is holding a fundraising event called the ‘Ethel Invitation 2015.” It will be Saturday, September 19, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Quemahoning Family Rec Area in Hollsopple. Click on event for additional details and sponsorship opportunities.

“There are a lot of people who say they want to start something great to give back, but not a lot go through with it,” said Lindeman. “We did, through the Foundation, and it helped make it possible.”

If you’d like to start a fund to make a difference in an area that you’re passionate about, call or email the Foundation for additional details.

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