McHenry fundraiser set for family of Dayana Garcia

McHENRY – A fundraising event featuring a visit from a Chicago Bears lineman will benefit the family of Dayana Garcia, the 12-year-old McHenry girl who died in a house fire earlier this month.

Organizers have put together a benefit starting at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The event includes a 2:30 p.m. Easter egg hunt for children 14 and younger followed by a “fun fair” from 3 to 5 p.m. The fair will feature moonwalks, face painting, games and photograph opportunities with Bears center Roberto Garza.

The event will be at McHenry West High School, 4724 W. Crystal Lake Road, and includes silent and live auctions beginning at 3 and 3:30 p.m., respectively.

Neighbors also will use the day to ramp up donation efforts. They’ve been collecting clothing and household items for the family since the March 8 fire.

“We’ve told a lot of people if they’re able to hold onto it until the actual event, to bring it by then, because we’re kind of treating that as a donation drive as well,” said Joe Panek, who has helped organize efforts to collect items for the family.

Panek said community members so far have dropped off a couch, TV, computer desk, twin bed and several bags of clothing, among other items. But much more is needed.

“They lost everything, and there’s two little kids,” he said. “Toys and anything for a 4- and 6-year-old boy.”

About $2,100 has been raised for the family on the free fundraising website youcaring.com. Wayne Jett, who has helped organize various efforts, also opened a bank account for the family at First Midwest Bank in McHenry.

Garcia, who was enrolled in seventh grade at Parkland Middle School, died after a fire started in a downstairs living room of her McHenry home in the middle of the night. Garcia’s parents and three brothers – 4, 6, and 18 – escaped by jumping out of a second-floor window.

If you go

What: Fundraising event for the family of Dayana Garcia, featuring an Easter egg hunt, moon bounce, face-painting, silent and live auctions and an appearance by Chicago Bears Center Roberto Garza

Where: McHenry West High School, 4724 W. Crystal Lake Road, McHenry

When: 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 30

How to help

To donate money:

To pay online by PayPal or credit card, visit http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/Dayana-Garcia/46234

To deposit into a bank account, visit a First Midwest Bank location in McHenry or Johnsburg.

To donate clothing or household items:

All donations can be brought to the benefit event at McHenry West High School.

Beforehand, clothing and small items can be brought to Salon Cambrai, 4921 McCullom Lake Road, McHenry

Arrangements can be made to donate larger household items including furniture before Saturday’s event by calling Joe Panek at 815-861-3324.

To donate auction items:

Call Wayne Jett at 815-529-3447.

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