Local

Local brewery holding fundraiser for employee

April Taylor (left), assistant manager of The Village Vintner Winery and Brewery stands next to general manager Janet Westberg Tuesday morning at their establishment in Algonquin.
April Taylor (left), assistant manager of The Village Vintner Winery and Brewery stands next to general manager Janet Westberg Tuesday morning at their establishment in Algonquin.

Janet Westberg, general manager of The Village Vintner, said assistant manager April Taylor is the kind of person who makes sure everyone else is taken care of.

“She’s the first person to make sure we have a balloon, or funny pair of glasses to wear on our birthday,” Westberg said. “She kind of pulls everybody else together to make sure we as managers have Christmas gifts and stuff of that nature.”

This is one reason why when Westberg and the rest of what she calls the “Vintner family” heard Taylor’s husband, Greg, was having medical issues that prevented him from working, they wanted to help her and her family.

“Pasta with a Purpose,” a fundraiser to benefit the Taylor family, is set for 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 29 at the Village Vintner Winery and Brewery at 2380 Esplanade Drive in Algonquin. Adult tickets are $25 and children age 12 and younger are $15. The Village Vintner’s chef and sous chef will prepare pasta at a station where guests can pick out the kind of noodles they want, the sauce, vegetables and protein. There also will be already prepared pastas and a salad bar for those who don’t want to wait in line, Westberg said.

Along with the food, there also will be live music and a raffle.

Greg Taylor underwent a CT scan of his lower abdomen July 31 that would lead him to a 24-day stay at the hospital. During the scan, his small bowel burst, which led to an emergency surgery and an ileostomy, two strokes and the discovery of an arrhythmia and hole in his heart, which also will require surgery.

Westberg said they put the fundraiser together pretty fast after they heard about this.

“We knew that [April Taylor] was losing a lot of income,” she said. “We knew that we needed to step in. That we needed to, as a family, pull together.

Right now, April Taylor said she has the bills from the cardiologist, neurologist, surgeon and heart monitor. Those alone are $21,000, and that doesn’t include the hospital stays, CT scans and blood work, she said. The Taylors don’t have health insurance. In addition, with Greg Taylor being unable to work, it makes it hard for the family to pay for day-to-day expenses.

“It’s the first time he’s missed work in I can’t tell you how long,” April Taylor said. “[It’s] been years.”

With the upcoming fundraiser, Westberg said they want to give April Taylor the “peace of mind” she needs to concentrate on being there for her husband and 10-year-old daughter, Trinity, who April calls “quite the trouper.”

Any businesses or people who want to donate can contact the restaurant at 847-658-4900.

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