McHENRY – An outpouring of support filled the McHenry High School West Campus gym Saturday afternoon in the form of friends, family and community members for a fundraising event benefitting the family of 12-year-old Dayana Garcia, who died in a Lakeland Park house fire March 8.
Jett’s Heating and Air owner Wayne Jett, with the help of local businesses and volunteers, organized the event in an effort to raise money for a new home and amenities for the family.
“I have kids of my own,” said Jett, of McHenry. “God forbid if I were ever to lose one of them, I would expect the people of McHenry to come together for me, so that’s why we’re coming together here today, for their family.”
McHenry resident Amy Daniels brought her sons Prestin, 6, and Skyler, 10, to partake in the Easter egg hunt and have a go in the bouncy houses.
“I would want the same show of support for my family, and we just wanted to come and show ours,” Daniels said.
Parkland seventh-graders Sairely Garcia, Gudelia Mujica and Karen Gonzalez were friends of Garcia’s and said she would be greatly missed.
“She always had a smile and she never judged you. She was really nice and we’re going to miss her,” Gonzalez said.
The event also featured a silent and live auction, 50/50 raffle and visit from Chicago Bears offensive lineman Roberto Garza, who posed for photos and signed autographs.
All proceeds from the three-hour event will go to the family of Dayana Garcia.
Through misty eyes, Garcia’s mother, Lissett Batlle, and father, Rene Rodriguez, gave a heartfelt thank you to all of the people that came together to help their family and reminded those in attendance to cherish their loved ones.
“Take care of your family. Hug your kids every day. When you are home with your family, enjoy it. I want to hug my daughter right now, but I can’t, because she is not here. I miss my daughter,” Batlle said.