Not long after his son Michael took his own life in March, Roger Berger heard from someone who had been down the same path: Jim Tkach, co-founder of the Bo Tkach Foundation.
Jim’s son Bo committed suicide in 2007 after struggles with depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
“Jim’s conversations have been a great comfort to me,” Roger said. “He expressed how my faith would serve me well as I continue to move forward following Michael’s death. I think the work the Bo Tkach Foundation is doing is tremendous. In fact, in Michael’s obituary, we chose the foundation to receive contributions in his memory.”
Since forming in 2008, the foundation has invested $268,945 in the community through the end of 2017.
It has funneled most of its funds, $176,000, toward guaranteeing underinsured or uninsured youth have access to mental health counseling.
The foundation’s website, www.botkach.com, has a wealth of contact information people can use when they are looking for help, including the MH/MR Intake Unit at 610-377-0773 or Jamie Drake, executive director at the Carbon-Monroe-Pike Drug and Alcohol Commission at 610-377-5177, ext. 2105.
Other contributions include $11,500 for youth and high school programs; $14,849 for Aevidum training, guest speakers, and sponsorship of special events; $5,760 for sponsorship of fundraisers for nonprofit organizations; $14,499 for benefits for less fortunate and terminally ill people; and $46,250 for scholarships to area students.
Each year, one student each from Northern Lehigh, Marian, Northwestern, Palmerton, Lehighton, Jim Thorpe, Panther Valley and Weatherly high schools, along with Carbon Career and Technical Institute, receives a $1,000 scholarship courtesy of the foundation.
Candidates do not need to be athletically or academically talented, but do need to be extraordinary in other ways. The recipients are well-rounded, community-minded, and have a sincere concern for others.
The 2018 scholarship winners will be honored at the foundation’s annual golf tournament, which is being held Wednesday at Blue Shamrock Golf Club. The tournament is one of two major events for the foundation each year, joining the Turkey Trot 5K through downtown Palmerton on Thanksgiving Day.
This year, the foundation has stepped up new efforts including donations to local food pantries. For 2018, it is $61,900, which will take it to about a $330,000 total investment in the community by the end of the year.
If you are interested in donating to the foundation, checks can be made payable to the Bo Tkach Foundation and addressed to: PenTeleData, Attn: Theresa Christman, 540 Delaware Ave., Palmerton, PA 18071.
Article source: www.tnonline.com