How Brent Hagey’s Fund Provides Mental Health Support During Crisis

May 21, 2020
Brent Hagey continues a Farris family tradition of philanthropy with his charitable Fund at the Community Foundation of Broward.

As the coronavirus virus began to threaten lives and livelihoods in Broward, Brent Hagey wanted to do more to help people in crisis – and he wanted to act fast.

Brent knew just how to make it happen. As a Fundholder at the Community Foundation of Broward, Brent already had the Foundation’s local philanthropy experts ready to help him make a bold impact – just when his community needed it the most.

As a result, rapid-response grants from Brent’s charitable Fund at the Community Foundation have been going to nonprofits on the front lines of the crisis – providing much-needed support for mental health services and other vital relief.

For example, recent support from Brent’s Fund includes $20,000 to the Florida Initiative for Suicide Prevention for outreach programs and support groups that help students and adults cope with mounting anxiety and depression during the crisis.

And another $20,000 in support from his Fund is fueling outreach through Broward Housing Solutions to connect struggling residents to mental health services, food banks, protective gear and financial support. Grants like this are making it possible to make a difference “one life at a time” during this crisis, said Lisa A. Vecchi, President/CEO of Broward Housing Solutions.

The grants come from The Celia Lipton Farris and Victor W. Farris Foundation Home Community Fund – named in honor of Brent’s grandparents.

The generosity of Celia, an accomplished singer and actress, and Victor, a successful inventor and industrialist, led to the creation of a private foundation that fuels a Farris family tradition of philanthropy. The family’s private foundation – The Celia Lipton Farris & Victor W. Farris Foundation – supports a national behavioral health initiative. Brent’s local philanthropy through his charitable Fund at the Community Foundation is an extension of his family foundation’s commitment to mental health.

“It gives us great joy knowing that we can help assist those who are in need and who make our community a better place to live,” Brent said.

By giving through the Community Foundation, Brent has peace of mind knowing that his local support goes to organizations vetted by the Community Foundation’s expert team. And that team stays engaged to make sure grant recipients deliver the results they promise.

“The Community Foundation of Broward has personally introduced me to many incredible nonprofits countywide that I most likely would have never discovered otherwise,” Hagey said.

During this crisis, the generosity of Brent and other dedicated Fundholders has already enabled the Community Foundation to deploy about $2 million in immediate support. This includes new grants as well as easing restrictions on existing grants to provide food, housing assistance, mental health services and much more to address the dire needs of some of Broward’s most vulnerable residents.

And this is only the beginning. The far-reaching effects of this unprecedented crisis are still unfolding. The Community Foundation has a more than 30-year track record of connecting people who care to causes that matter in Broward – and we are in this for the long haul.

Contact Information

For more information about the Community Foundation of Broward, contact or 954-761-9503.


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