The Brooke Erin Posey Foundation :: Spreading Joy, Compassion and Goodwill

As moms, our greatest wish is to help make our children’s dreams come true – to support them in their goals and empower them to realize their highest hopes.

That is why I started the Brooke Erin Posey Foundation. 

My stepdaughter, Brooke, passed away in a car accident when she was just seventeen years old. Though young, Brooke truly lived life to the fullest, building a wide array of interests and passions in her short time with us. She began swimming at the age of four and horseback riding at the age of eight. She loved music and dancing and taking part in the rich culture that New Orleans has to offer. 

Most of all, Brooke was defined by her love of family and friends. For Brooke, family meant so much more than just the people you’re related to. Family was the people you took care of, the ones who owned a piece of your heart, and for Brooke, that included so many. She especially had a soft spot for her younger cousins, niece, and nephew, and she took it upon herself not only to be a source of support and comfort for them but also be a role model. She was passionate about giving back to her community, especially to causes that supported children, and from a young age, she decided to give a portion of her allowance to children in need.

After Brooke passed, I wanted to carry on that spirit of giving in her name–to keep a little bit of Brooke in the world beyond the people she touched while she was here. 

And so, in 2019, Brooke’s father Ernest and I founded the Brooke Erin Posey Foundation to sponsor the Brooke E. Posey Swim-a-Thon & Family FUNraiser–an event thrown in Brooke’s honor that was the brainchild of her swim team family in 2017–as a way to spread Brooke’s kindness through the New Orleans community. Since then, the Brooke Erin Posey Foundation has hosted the Swim-a-Thon in support of a different children’s charity each year, in hopes that we can continue spreading joy, compassion, and goodwill in Brooke’s memory. 

Over the last six years, our event has raised almost $100,000 for children in our area, and we couldn’t be more grateful to Brooke for setting our mission in motion. As her stepmom (“bonus mom”), I am so proud of the difference she has made and so honored that every year I get to keep her dream alive by giving back to children in our region.

The 7th Annual Brooke E. Posey Swim-a-Thon & Family FUNraiser will be held on June 10, 2023 – just two days before what would have been her 24th birthday.

Brooke would be so proud to support this year’s beneficiary, JoJo’s Hope, a nonprofit organization founded by Robby Fritscher in 2001, in memory of his nephew who tragically drowned at the age of 3. As part of their mission, JoJo’s Hope offers swimming and aquatic activity programs that are adapted to meet the needs of individuals with mental and physical limitations. Their therapeutic programs are specially designed for those with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, autism, down syndrome, and other mental or physical challenges.

I would love for our Swim-a-Thon to become a tradition for families across New Orleans. It is a great way for our children to learn to fundraise and support charities in our community. 

The event will be held at the Southern Yacht Club grounds and pool, located at 105 N. Roadway, New Orleans. It is open to the public. Families are invited to a fun-filled day of enjoying the view of the lake, play games to earn tokens to trade for prizes, bid on auction items, enjoy music and food, and try their luck on our Parade of Prizes raffle. 

People of all ages can participate in the swim-a-thon portion of our event by swimming laps in the pool at SYC on June 10th. Families can also swim at their own locations to support the cause from May 28th through June 10th, 2023. Registration for the Swim-a-Thon will open beginning May 1st, and all registered swimmers will receive a 2023 t-shirt along with a swimmer’s swag bag.

You can visit to get more details about the event, register to swim, volunteer, learn more about sponsorship opportunities, or make donations.

About Melissa 

Melissa Corass is the Director of the Brooke Erin Posey Foundation. For the past six years, Melissa has spearheaded the Brooke E. Posey Swim-a-Thon & Family FUNraiser and has raised over $100,000 for local, children’s charities. When not working on the Swim-a-Thon, she spreads kindness through our area by providing Brooke’s Kindness Bags to local charities and donating books to the Little Libraries throughout our area in memory of Brooke. 

Melissa’s heart lies with her family. She is a mother of two, a bonus mom of three, and has six grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys 80’s music, crafting, and creating unique gifts that she sells online.  


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