ECCAC names Cory Fosdyck as 2022 Zeke Bratkowski Advocate Award winner

Special to Gannett / USA TODAY NETWORK

DESTIN — The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) recently named Cory Fosdyck as their third annual Zeke Bratkowski Advocate Award winner at its signature Gala.

Hall of Famer Zeke Bratkowski was a famous National Football League  player and an assistant coach in the NFL for more than two decades. He passed away in 2019 and was a passionate supporter of ECCAC, founding the nonprofit’s first Gala and Golf Tournament in 1999.

Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center representatives recently presented Cory Fosdyck with the 2022 Zeke Bratkowski Advocate Award for his support in helping abused children in Okaloosa and Walton counties. From left are Christen Cowgill, ECCAC director of development and marketing; Fosdyck; and Julie Porterfield, ECCAC CEO.

Three years ago, ECCAC developed this annual prestigious award that goes to a community recipient who demonstrates outstanding involvement to help make a difference in changing the lives of child victims of abuse.

“Cory is the epitome of what Zeke stood for, and that is helping others who would never know him. Cory has given so much of his time, talent and generous gifts to help children he will never know.   There are no words that can truly express our gratitude and appreciation,” said ECCAC CEO Julie Porterfield.

Cory Fosdyck is a senior vice president and resident director at Merrill Lynch in Destin. In his 20-year career with Merrill Lynch dealing with high net-worth families, he has received many awards, including being recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the top financial planners in Florida.

The only thing he enjoys more than helping his clients is serving the community where he lives. Fosdyck serves on the boards of the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation and Sacred Heart Hospital, and supports numerous other nonprofits in Okaloosa and Walton County.

His and wife Hillary have three children and are certified in Florida as foster parents.

“Somebody at ECCAC made a mistake when considering me for this award, but we all make them occasionally,” Fosdyck said. “Even Zeke himself spent a few years with the Packers in between his time with my beloved Chicago Bears!

“Hillary and I love everything about ECCAC and the mission they have to end child abuse. We hope and pray that our support of ECCAC moves that mission a step towards reality.”

With centers in Niceville and DeFuniak Springs, in ECCAC’s 23-year history, over 15,000 children have received more than 150,000 services at no cost. This includes mental health therapy, crisis intervention, referrals to other community providers, interviews and medical care.

For more information about donating, volunteering, or the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Centers, visit or call 850-833-9237, Ext. 283.