CRYSTAL LAKE – Tom Nejmeh was a family man, which is why Mike Gallagher found it fitting to honor his friend through a family event.
Lippold Park Mini Golf Course will host a fundraiser Aug. 10 for the family of Nejmeh, a Crystal Lake native and Algonquin resident who died April 27 in a car crash after suffering heart attack while driving home. He was 40 years old.
Gallagher, who became close friends with Nejmeh at Western Illinois University and moved to Crystal Lake in part to be closer to him, organized the event to help raise money for Nejmeh's wife and three young children – one of whom is about to start preschool.
"It's been pretty hard. I have four daughters under the age of 13, and I just couldnt imagine," Gallagher said. "We're just looking to raise as much money as we can and give them as much as we can."
The event, located at 1251 W. Route 176 in Crystal Lake, will run from 3 to 9 p.m. and cost $10 per golfer. Families also will have the opportunity to enter a 50/50 raffle or make a $20 donation to sponsor a hole. Those who cannot make it still can donate through www.tomsbenefit.com.
Christina Gallagher, Mike Gallagher's wife, said she hopes the family fundraiser can help cover some of the costs of the extracurricular activities and schooling for Nejmeh's children, though because Nejmeh was the sole provider, it still will be a struggle.
"Tom was the sole provider, so we just want to make sure the kids can stay involved with the activities and school," Christina Gallagher said.
The Gallaghers wanted to involve families in helping the Nejmehs, but they hope a larger golf fundraiser scheduled at Turnberry Country Club in Lakewood – where Nejmeh was a member – will generate the most financial assistance.
That fundraiser, which had been scheduled for Aug. 12, includes a continental breakfast, round of golf and light luncheon with a raffle, silent auction and cash bar. Awards also will be presented. The cost for that fundraiser is $150 per golfer or $600 for a foursome.
Mike Gallagher said the Turnberry fundraiser would be pushed back to September because many of Nejmeh's family members are in New Jersey, where Nejmeh's brother is battling a serious and potentially fatal illness.
"It's been an extremely tough time for that family," Gallagher said. "Obviously they are struggling emotionally."
Those interested in registering for the September fundraiser can do so at www.tomsbenefit.com. Questions also can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or Christina Gallagher at 630-363-0167.
How to help
What: Fundraiser for the wife and three children of Tom Nejmeh, who died in April
When: 3 to 9 p.m. Aug. 10
Where: Lippold Park Miniature Golf Course
Cost: $10 per golfer. Donations of $20 can be made to sponsor a hole and a 50/50 raffle will be held. Donations also can be made at www.tomsbenefit.com