Continuing Fred Foster’s, co-founder and CEO of ETC Connect, legacy of caring for entertainment technology professionals in need, ETC presented charity Behind the Scenes with a cheque for $14,937.81 during USITT. The cheque was delivered by ETC’s marketing scenic designer and Fred Foster’s daughter, Kate Foster.
Fred sadly passed away in February 2019 at the age of 61. His contributions to the entertainment technology industry are countless and range from product innovations to student mentorship programs, including supporting Behind the Scenes from its beginnings. Behind the Scenes charity provides entertainment technology professionals who are seriously ill or injured with grants that may be used for basic living and medical expenses.
These funds come at a critical time for Behind the Scenes, which is experiencing a significant increase in applications for assistance, with many from individuals in extremely dire circumstances.
Rick Rudolph, chair of Behind the Scenes, commented: “We are seeing so many individuals with medical bills that have wiped out their savings, and their inability to work due to illness or injury means they can’t cover even the most basic expenses such as rent and utilities.”
On accepting the cheque, Rudolph expressed the Foundation’s deep gratitude for ETC’s ongoing commitment to its mission. He continued: “Fred was our champion from the earliest days of the charity, as he immediately understood the need for it, and we are so grateful that the entire ETC organisation has become such a strong supporter. By showing others the care and respect Fred showed them, they are carrying on his legacy and creating a lasting memorial.”
Members of the Foundation’s board of directors also updated Kate about the recent scholarship awarded in Fred’s honour. The Fred Foster Scholarships help children of grant recipients continue their education despite their families’ financial hardships. In Leena’s case, her father’s diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia and subsequent bone marrow transplant left him unable to work and to keep up with basic expenses, meaning the family couldn’t afford the tuition needed to complete her last year of nursing school. Behind the Scenes paid her tuition bill so she could.
For more information about Behind the Scenes, to donate, or to apply for a grant, visit the charity's website.