The Crystal Lake Lions Club has raised more than $51,000 to go toward the siblings of AJ Freund.
The Crystal Lake child’s untimely death shook the community last month. AJ’s parents, Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham, face murder charges in connection with the 5-year-old’s death.
Crystal Lake Lions Club President Randy Funk said that the volunteer organization had wanted to pay for the funeral, but Davenport Family Funeral Home donated its services. The club decided to raise funds for AJ’s siblings instead. AJ leaves behind an older brother, a younger brother and an unborn sibling.
The Lions Club plans to put donations into a trust for the three.
The Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce awarded the organization Thursday with its Carl E. Wehde Member of the Year Award.
Funk said his agency is known for its reliability.
“We have a long-standing reputation in Crystal Lake of doing things right and aboveboard,” Funk said. “We are getting the trust set up for the benefit of the three kids and making sure none of it goes to any of the parents.”
Funk said donations have come from around the nation.
“The whole thing about this is that people want to do something,” he said. “And there is not a whole lot you can do. ... It’s a crazy situation.”
The club still is accepting donations.
Individuals who want to donate can mail a check with “AJ” in the memo line to Crystal Lake Lions Club, P.O Box 48, Crystal Lake, 60039-0048.
Cash and checks can be delivered in person to all three locations of the Crystal Lake Bank & Trust.
To donate online, visit https://quickclick.com/r/xx8gf.