JOHNSBURG – A benefit is being held Saturday to help a Johnsburg High School graduate who was injured in a car wreck with an alleged drunken driver in November.
The event, which will feature food, live music, auctions and raffles, will start at 7 p.m. at the Johnsburg Community Club, 2315 W. Church St. in Johnsburg.
Jarett Wolff, 19, was in a vehicle with three friends in the early hours of Nov. 2 when another vehicle, driven by Michael E. Smith, 46, of Island Lake, collided with theirs on River Road near Elmkirk Lane in unincorporated McHenry County, McHenry County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Thomas said. The next day, Smith was charged with multiple felony charges, including aggravated driving under the influence without insurance.
Smith, who has since been indicted on four counts of aggravated driving under the influence, had three previous DUI offenses under his belt at the time of the November crash, Thomas said. Smith is awaiting trial, and his next court appearance is Feb. 10.
Left in critical condition after the crash, Wolff was placed into a medically induced coma. The coma lasted 18 days, according to information on the event flier.
The recent graduate played football, wrestled, and was part of an anti-bullying group at Johnsburg High School, a previous Northwest Herald article said.
A friend and former coach of Wolff’s, Bill Molidor of Johnsburg, is one of the people behind the fundraiser. Molidor said he visits Wolff a few times a week and wants to help make the recovery process a little easier.
“He’s doing OK,” Molidor said. “He’s home now, and he’s attending rehab for the better part of every day.”
Molidor helped organize the benefit in hopes of raising about $20,000 to give to Wolff for medical costs or for future plans, whatever those might be, Molidor said. He added it was Wolff’s aspiration to enter the Marines at some point.
Molidor said support has already been flooding in, with bands donating their time to entertain benefit-goers and local businesses offering monetary donations and items for auctions.
“We’re just doing this to raise awareness about what happened,” he said. “And trying to help out a family that could use our help, because that’s what we do here in this little town.”