The Eric Dolch Children's Encephilitis Foundation
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The Eric Dolch Children's Encephalitis Foundation is dedicated to raising money and awareness for the proper care and treatment for children with encephalitis while helping to find a cure for encephalitis and other types of epilepsy.

Exciting news! Eric’s foundation is holding its second charity golf tournament on Saturday, Oct. 22 at Atlantis Country Club in Lake Worth. The inaugural event sold out and this one will too. For more informaiton and to register click here.


  • Eric sitting up by himself for 8 minutes to show off for the ladies.
  • We are extremely proud that Eric's foundation made a $5,000 donation today to the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation to help fund their new Miami Children's Hospital Urgent Care Centers in Palm Beach County.
  • Eric wearing his new Coastal Star newspaper shirt. Thanks, MKL!
  • Hanging with Eric at Grassy Waters Preserve. Love that place.
  • So angelic. Eric taking a nap after lunch.
  • Talking to Eric during his foundation's check presentation to Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation.
  • Eric working hard in physical therapy - with Eric Dolch.
  • Eric with his former speech therapist, Isabella.
  • Nothing better than being able to look at Eric eye-to-eye. Great PT session today with Beth!
  • Eric's first time in the water since he contracted encephalitis in 2005. That's progress! So glad he's at Royal Palm School and his nurse Alex pushed for this. - with Alexandra Restrepo Castro.
  • Eric is so blessed to have his former nurses/forever friends Alex and Carlos still so involved in his life. So are we! - with Carlos Restrepo, Eric Dolch and Alexandra Restrepo Castro.
  • Eric Dolch Children’s Encephalitis Foundation donated almost $6,000 to the Miami Children's Hospital Foundation to fund a computer system that will help doctors do a better job of tracking and treating epilepsy patients.
  • Ray Floyd, Craig Dolch and Nick Price at Old Palm Golf Club for the creation of The Eric Dolch Children's Encephalitis Foundation.
  • Alexandra Restrepo Castro takes Eric to the movies.
  • Craig and Eric at the Touch of Ziegfeld fundraiser.
  • Eric with one of the performers at A Touch of Ziegfeld event which raised almost $5,000 for the Eric Dolch Children’s Encephalitis Foundation.
  • Marion Kirkpatrick and Eric Dolch at A Touch of Ziegfeld event which raised almost $5,000 for the Eric Dolch Children’s Encephalitis Foundation.
  • Craig Dolch with Marion Kirkpatrick who performed in A Touch of Ziegfeld which raised almost $5,000 for the Eric Dolch Children’s Encephalitis Foundation.

"We are committed to the aggressive pursuit of finding a cure for encephalitis and in the meantime to improve the proper diagnosing, treatment and care of children and adults with encephalitis and other epilepsy-related illnesses. No child or family should have to go through what Eric has endured."

Mission Statement

The Mission of the Eric Dolch Children's Encephalitis Foundation is:

  • To find the cause of and the cure for children's and adult encephalitis through research.
  • To improve the quality of life for children and adults with encephalitis and epileptic-related illnesses and their caregivers.
  • To educate children and adults with encephalitis, their caregivers, healthcare professionals, and the general public about encephalitis and other epileptic-related illnesses and their treatments.
  • To help hospitals in our community properly diagnose and deal with children's and adult's encephalitis and epilepsy.
  • To make sure that children in the U.S. get the same quality of medical treatment as adults and senior citizens.

Whats New


Click here for more videos about Eric's story

EDCEF Founder Named Golfweek's Father of the Year
2014 Father of the Year: Optimist, caregiver Dolch
By Jude Rude, Senior Writer, Golfweek
Published: Friday, June 13, 2014

Life throws daily curves, sometimes nasty ones. The color of your sky can change instantly. Craig Dolch knows this, clearly, painfully. Nine years ago, he was reporting at the U.S. Open at Pinehurst when 14-year-old son Eric called and wished him Happy Father’s Day. They talked for about five minutes.

Click here for the full story

By Emily J. Minor, Special to The Palm Beach Post

It was a summer of everyday occurrences. A family. Two teenagers. A marriage gone stale.

West Palm Beach couple Craig Dolch and Ava Van de Water were immersed in their middle-class lives, with competing work schedules and kids home for the summer and exciting plans for an upcoming cruise vacation, which they felt would surely ease the impending tedium of July, August and September.

And then the fever hit.

Click here for the full story

Clearwater's Berrys Use Their Wedding To Help Charities

It’s common at a funeral for donations to be made to non-profit and charity organizations as a way of remembering a person’s life.

But Allison and Ben Berry of Clearwater took a different approach when they were married this year, they asked their guests, in lieu of gifts, to make donations to a pair of non-profits: The Eric Dolch Children’s Encephalitis Foundation and the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer.  

Eric Dolch is Allison’s 22-year-old cousin who contracted encephalitis in 2005 in West Palm Beach and has been left severely disabled. The Berrys donated $500 to Eric’s foundation and an additional $500 to help with Eric’s ongoing medical expenses.

Click here for the full story.

Jack Nicklaus's generosity has become the new measure of his greatness
By Michael Bamberger, Senior Writer, Sports Illustrated

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Jack Nicklaus came into the press room here at the Honda on Tuesday, as he does every year. He does it at the Memorial. He does it at the Masters. For decades he did it at every event he played. These sessions, they're always the same, and they're never the same.

A lot of players come to Jack looking for playing advice. They'd do well to ask him about how to handle this part, too. What Jack does is answer every question posed to him thoroughly, openly and originally. His intelligence and his playfulness have always come through. You probably know that. What you might not know about is his warmth.

Click here for the full story

The Eric Dolch Children’s Encephalitis Foundation makes a $5,000 donation to the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation (NCHCF). In the photo from left to right: Jack and Barbara Nicklaus; Eric’s mom Ava Van de Water; Eric Dolch; President/CEO of Miami Children’s Hospital Dr. M. Narendra Kini, NCHCF president Patty McDonald and Eric’s father Craig Dolch. Photo credit Jim Mandeville.

Eric Dolch Children’s Encephalitis Foundation Makes $5,000 Donation to New Miami Children’s Hospital Nicklaus Care Centers In Palm Beach County

When Eric Dolch almost died from encephalitis in 2005, his parents airlifted the then-14-year-old West Palm Beach resident to Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH), where he spent more than a year recovering from the near-fatal illness in the hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Now 21, Eric is helping other hildren fight back from life-threatening illnesses. Monday, the Eric Dolch Children’s Encephalitis Foundation (EDCEF) made a $5,000 donation to the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. The money is designated to be used for the new Nicklaus Care Centers that MCH is bringing to Palm Beach County to improve the area’s acute pediatric health care.

Click here for the full story


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