About the Foundation

The Emily Catherine Fedorko Foundation (ECFF) is a family foundation that provides funding to spread education, advocacy and awareness of boating and water sports safety for adults and children, throughout Connecticut and nationwide.

The foundation was created by Pamela and Joseph Fedorko to honor the life of their beautiful 16-year old daughter Emily, who lost her life during a tragic water tubing accident in the summer of 2014.

ECFF supports programs and initiatives that educate boaters and water sports enthusiasts of all ages about the importance of understanding and following essential boating and water safety laws, regulations and best practices. This includes awareness of both state and local boating and water sports rules and regulations, attaining necessary certifications, knowledge of each body of water, the vessel mechanics, and life jacket requirements, ongoing safety education for boat drivers, navigators and passengers, and more.

In addition to water-sports safety, the foundation also honors other areas of interest in Emily’s life – by supporting academic and athletic endeavors she was passionate about.

A Letter from The Fedorko’s

From the moment we set our eyes on her big, bright blue eyes and beautiful blond curls, we knew Emily was a special person. We were so proud of her. As a high honor student, she had already achieved academic excellence and was well liked by her teachers and classmates. She was a member of the gymnastics and lacrosse teams and participated in plays and other activities in school and throughout her life.

She had a beautiful personality and energy about her that drew people in. Curious, gracious, polite, kind, inclusive – she was the kind of girl that made friends easily and was a friend to everyone she met.  When she entered a room, everyone knew she was there. She was a bright light.  And she had a big heart.

Spending time at the beach and on the water has always been an important part of our family life including enjoying time on the boat. Emily loved to walk on the sand, collect sea glass, enjoyed water sports and fishing with Dad. She had completed courses in the state of Connecticut to receive her Safe Boating Certificate (SBC) as well as her Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation (CPWO).

We lost Emily on August 6, 2014 to a tragic tubing accident that might have been preventable.  Our hope is that through the Emily Catherine Fedorko Foundation (ECFF), we can educate teens and adults about safe boating practices and help advocate for additional training, specifically for tubing and other water sport activities.  We wish to enhance our community’s knowledge of recreational boating and hope our efforts will prevent future injuries and help save someone’s life. We formed ECFF in Emily’s memory to help everyone remember her and to keep her spirit alive.

Thank you to all for your support,

The Fedorko Family

The Story Behind the Logo

This heart on the sandbar appeared the night of her wake and the morning of her funeral. It appeared every day that week and periodically afterwards, and it is a reminder to us of her presence.