The Joseph A. Cekola Memorial Fund Mission:
To provide financial assistance for the families with permanently disabled children who desire to maintain the family unit by caring for the child in their home.
The Joseph A. Cekola Memorial Endowment Fund issues grants to nonprofit organizations supporting families with permanently disabled children living at home. Grant requests are reviewed quarterly. For more information please contact The Arc Community Advocates.
About the Memorial Fund
Joseph A. Cekola was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was always known as generous. He would give readily to those in need, donated to churches and schools, and always put others ahead of himself.
In 1959, Joe & Dolores Cekola welcomed their first son Nick into the world. Nick was diagnosed with Down Syndrome and it changed the family’s life forever. As was common at the time, the family was encouraged to institutionalize Nick. But the Cekolas envisioned something different for Nick. A life where Nick was surrounded by a loving family and would be connected to a community where he could make a contribution. Though the financial, physical and emotional demands were great at times, every single member of the family would attest that the rewards far outweighed them.
When Joe Cekola passed away in the mid-90’s, a memorial foundation was established. This endowment was meant to provide assistance to other families and their children in order to afford them the same opportunities that Nick had. All of the money raised through the foundation is distributed back to the community that Joe Cekola loved and supported during his lifetime.