McHENRY – Volunteers and vendors gathered Saturday in McHenry to help raise money for the family members of those affected by chronic illness.
“We’ve done smaller events like silent auctions, but this is our first big event,” Adina Walters, founder of the Cary-based nonprofit Hope, Faith, Cure Foundation, said Saturday in McHenry’s Petersen Park.
The Hope, Faith, Cure Foundation seeks to help those in the McHenry County region dealing with Crohn’s, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Walters herself was in and out of hospitals for seven years before doctors figured out that she not only had Crohn’s disease, but also lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Money raised during Saturday’s event will benefit the organization’s college scholarship program. The group has partnered with Community High School District 155 and is aiming to support students who have loved ones affected by these chronic diseases, Walters said. She added the nonprofit was on its way to reaching its goal of $5,000 but needed more help.
“It’s an everyday illness, and it’s invisible,” Walters previously said. “It affects the whole family. … Big companies have scholarships for patients, but there isn’t anything out there for the family.”
Cary-Grove high school senior Cole Begun volunteered at the event through National Honor Society. He helped set up the tents covering auction items and held down those tents on the windy Saturday. Begun said raising money for those with chronic illness is important.
There also was a bouncy house, DJ and plenty of food.
Ten vendors were expected to come between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, including Trades of Hope and Nature’s Care Company.
Erica Krall is a compassionate entrepreneur with Trades of Hope, an organization that seeks to use funds raised through jewelry and home decor sales to empower women, but she said she also had a personal connection to the event.
“I have friends with Crohn’s and arthritis, so I’m here to show support,” Krall said.
Nature’s Care Company outreach specialist Kim Kaskel said she thought the fundraiser would be a good opportunity to share information with those who suffer from chronic illnesses about the medical cannabis with which they can be legally treated. Nature’s Care is a medical dispensary out of Rolling Meadows.
Most who were there either knew someone affected by chronic illness or were themselves affected. Steve Dreyer, of Cary, said knowing someone suffering from lupus brought his attention to the topic.
“I knew someone with lupus years ago, and it’s not easy,” Dreyer said. “People need to be made aware of this.”