2012 CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN – Echarte Family Donate Their Time and Talent To Nonprofits
Life has played a nice song for Arturo Echarte and his family, and the Brevard entrepreneur wants to pay back his good fortune with music.
The founder of Acoustic for a Change, Echarte has harnessed the power of music to do good for local charities. The Indialantic guitarist and fellow musicians here and in California donate their time and talent to nonprofits to help them raise funds at special events. They also play for donations at weddings and other private functions in order to give all the income to worthy causes in Brevard.
The list of charities who sing Echarte’s musical praises is long, including Cancer Care Foundation, Candlighters of Brevard, Healthy Start Coalition, the National Kidney Foundation, the Women’s Center, Zonta Club, Club Esteem, Devereux, Brevard Rescue Mission, the Space Coast Early Intervention Center and even the Space Coast Symphony, for whom Echarte played Latin-themed tunes at the orchestra’s Viva la Musica fundraiser.
Approximately 200 musicians in Florida and California have joined Acoustic for a Change, pledging to help out nonprofits with music, the universal language. Part of Echarte’s music ministry also includes collecting gently used musical instruments to be given to underprivileged children who would not otherwise be able to play. Along with the instruments come music lessons. For example, the children of Melbourne’s Booker T. Washington neighborhood live in a world where poverty, crime and drugs are unfortunately all too familiar. Because of Echarte, however, these kids, who attend Brevard Neighborhood Development Coalition’s DOCK after school program
, have received musical instruments that help them explore a whole new world of opportunity and beauty.
The list of charities who sing Echarte’s musical praises is long, including Cancer Care Foundation, Candlighters of Brevard, Healthy Start Coalition, the National Kidney Foundation, the Women’s Center, Zonta Club, Club Esteem, Devereux, Brevard Rescue Mission
, the Space Coast Early Intervention Center and even the Space Coast Symphony, for whom Echarte played Latin-themed tunes at the orchestra’s Viva la Musica fundraiser. ABOVE: Echarte with Cancer Care Foundation’s Marta Fiol, a 2011 Central Florida Humanitarian.
On most afternoons, the DOCK band, Electric Altitude, practices on instruments Echarte provided. On weekends, they “pay it forward” by playing at local events such as the recent “Rockin’ on Interlachen” concert that Hope Lutheran Church hosted to raise funds for the local food pantry. Arturo Echarte’s strong faith in God led him to Acoustic for a Change. “This is the purpose God has given me to do good,” he said.
“Arturo uses the power of music to do so much good,” said Lynn Brockwell-Carey, executive director of the Brevard Neighborhood Development Coalition, the United Way member agency that revitalizes impoverished communities in South Brevard. “He shares his considerable talents and inspires others to do the same.”
Echarte’s wife, Susan, who helped him grow his high-speed – and highly successful – mailing and digital printing service in South Florida, has joined him in his music ministry. Her forte is organization, honed in the travel department of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Susan Echarte donates her business acumen to nonprofits planning fundraisers in order that they can maximize funds and resources to help their mission.
Arturo Echarte playing for Space Coast Cancer Center’s Daffodil Gala at Kennedy Space Center.
With Susan’s help, the National Kidney Foundation hosted a highly successful “Gidget” evening featuring Kathy Kohner-Zuckerman, the original inspiration for the quintessential girl surfer of movie and television fame.
The Cuban-American Echarte had a bumpy start in life. In the late 60s, Echarte’s family left all their worldly goods in Cuba and fled the Communist regime with their four boys, plus a baby soon to arrive. Arturo is the only one of the five Echarte sons to have been born in the United States.
Although the family initially settled in Miami, Echarte’s dad found work in Cocoa Beach, where his skills as an MIT-trained builder came in handy during the building boom spurred by the growth of the Kennedy Space Center. The family eventually returned to South Florida, but Arturo’s heart stayed in Brevard, eventually relocating his wife and two daughters to Indialantic.
Success was not instant with his Postal Center International business, but years of hard work in the business he launched at age 24 eventually paid off. Echarte can now Skype daily to his company president and visit headquarters a few days a month, allowing him to pursue his music ministry in Brevard and in Southern California, home for the Echartes for a few months out of the year. Echarte’s strong faith in God led him to Acoustic for a Change. “This is the purpose God has given me to do good,” he said.
Article by Maria Sonnenberg in Space Coast Medicine