EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Remembering a late local business owner and community partner brought dozens together Friday night for a fundraiser in his honor.

A casino night for a great cause bringing hundreds together in the community. The event honors the late Jay Caron of East Longmeadow, who started the nonprofit Hampden County Sheriff’s Department Community Impact Foundation.

Caron died at the age of 60 from COVID complications, in his honor, the Sheriff’s Department later renamed the organization after him, as the Jay Caron Community Impact Foundation. Co-Chairman Dr. Gary Goodman of Casino Night Committee tells 22News, “He’d be so happy to see all the people here that he had relationships with that he loved and that he interacted with his whole and their altogether and that they’re standing up for him. That’s the greatest thing, it’s a tribute to him.”

Caron’s sister, Beth-Ann Caron-Latsko says he was extremely generous and philanthropic with helping people and making a difference, being a good person. Additionally, as a result of his involvement in over 23 cities and towns, he started the East Longmeadow Lacrosse program, sponsored athletic teams, and gave to charity events.

Since Caron passed away in 2020, the foundation has been working to bring unity and keep his legacy alive in Hampden County. “Whether it’s through the elderly…to try to aid programs to the youth, whether its sports to or musical programs, any type of extracurricular activity or if it’s just baseline adults just looking for some support and also people that are in recovery,” expressed Sheriff Nick Cocchi of the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department.

The proceeds will also go toward scholarships for lacrosse players and high school students looking to give back. The foundation’s charitable giving has been the largest yet, and there’s more to come.