Sherry Hammer - Tim Early - Patrick Hammer
Tim passed away on December 23, 2001. Tim was extremely grateful for the effort everyone made in making his foundation a success, he also looked forward to the continuation of his dream the health and beauty of diving.
The Tim Early Foundation has been set up in Illinois by the staff of  Our World-Underwater, SCUBA and Travel EXPO. The goal of the foundation is to help support diving in the Midwest through charitable donations. Our World-Underwater has been the single largest contributor to the Tim Early Foundation. Portions go to the foundation as well as outside. Since its inception, the Tim Early Foundation has raised over $400,000 to help fund Midwest projects, and educational programs.

Tim Early was among the earliest PADI instructors, designated #746. He was very active in the diving industry throughout the late 60’s and 70’s; however, his real love was on the scientific side of diving so he concentrated on marine biology. Tim became a scientist and loves the diving opportunities that are available in the Midwest so he created the Aquatic Research Institute in Northwestern Indiana. Through the Institute, disadvantaged children have had the opportunity to experience weightlessness through a distance-learning program conducted in conjunction with the Challenger Learning Centers. In this program, the children become “aquanauts” by wearing a full-face mask equipped with underwater communications and can simulate being astronauts by conducting specific jobs underwater while communicating with other students acting as “mission control specialists” in different cities much like they would in inner space and outer space. Some of these programs have been broadcast throughout the world. The end result is that these kids not only learn about topics like physics in a fun, interesting and interactive way but they also learn a valuable lesson about teamwork.

The foundation collects charitable donations in both money and scuba equipment. The largest amount of funding comes from the OUR WORLD-UNDERWATER show that is held in Rosemont, IL every year. This show attracts close to 15,000 dive and travel enthusiasts, plus many industry leaders. A portion of the show profits are earmarked to assist education in the Midwest. You can visit their site at

With Tim's love for diving and children in the Midwest we concluded there was no place better to put the foundation than in the Chicago-land area. We accept donations from many fine people and companies, world wide, but most grants are approved for the Midwest needs.

Tim Early has a strong love for life and diving but in December 2000 he was diagnosed with cancer. Tim’s dreams have not yet been met so the foundation was formed to help keep the dream alive. Through the TIM EARLY FOUNDATION the children of today may become the astronauts, deep-sea explorers or marine-biologists of tomorrow.
We need your financial support. You can help by sending a donation to the Tim Early Foundation at 16336 South 104th Ave. Orland Park, IL 60467. A letter for tax purposes will be sent to you along with a report of the approved grants.

A request for a grant from the Tim Early Foundation can be made online or by mailing a request to our 16336 South 104th Ave. Orland Park, IL 60467. For more information on grants and application information contact