The third annual fund-raiser for Clermont County fallen Marine Nicholas Erdy will take place at the Norlyn Manor Nov. 17.
Owensville resident Lance Corporal Nicholas Erdy, 21, was tragically killed in Iraq from injuries sustained in a roadside bombing on May 11, 2005. His body was returned to the United States on May 23 to a heroes welcome; after a military honor parade that drew more than 200 mourners, he was interred in the St. Louis Cemetery on May 26, 2005.
All proceeds from this weekend’s fund-raiser will benefit the Nick Erdy Foundation, a 501(c)3, non-profit, all-volunteer charitable organization started by the family to donate scholarships to the schools that Nick attended and a few other organizations that were important to him.
A few of those include scholarships to the St. Louis School in Owensville, the McNicholas High School, the Clermont Northeastern High School, the Mid-Ohio Marine Foundation, the 3 Deuce 5 Marine Foundation Unit out of Columbus, and many other veteran’s and military support groups which distribute funds to returning injured Marines and their families.
"Originally, one of Nick's coaches suggested that we have a fund-raiser and then keep a scholarship in Nick's name for the schools he attended," she said. "We thought it was a great idea and that is how it all started."
Jane Erdy said that when they realized how large the response was as a result of their efforts, they decided to broaden the scope and the mission of the Nick Erdy Foundation.
"The response from the community was and is remarkable," she said. "When we kept growing, we realized how much we could give, so we decided to extend our efforts to include the marines and their families who do such positive things and give so much good back to the community."
Even though the Nick Erdy Foundation fund-raiser event is designed to celebrate his life, his service, and the ultimate sacrifice that he made in fighting for our freedoms, the annual fund-raiser has never been designed to be a somber affair, said Rita Erdy-Elleman, Nick's aunt.
"The fund-raiser is not an event where you remain seated and listen to speakers talk about Nick or anything else," she said. "There will be a small section where the family can thank everyone for their support, but we designed the event as a fun time to visit and talk with people. It is an event to celebrate Nick's life in a happy way. This is the way Nick would have wanted it - he was a very humble guy that loved life and loved helping others."
His mother echoes those sentiments.
"Nick was a humble man who did not like a lot of hoopla," Jane said. "He was not one to search or seek out the limelight. But he would be very proud to know that his short life is now helping children and his marine brothers and sisters. We are grateful to the community for their love and support."
The fund-raiser will include a live and a silent auction, open bar, a cocktail reception, dinner catered by the Outback Steakhouse, a DJ and dancing. Seating is available for $50 a person and the doors open at 5:30 p.m.