Local

$35,000 anonymously given to Cary fire district

Money will pay for expensive defibrillator monitor

A wealthy couple who rescinded a $60,000 donation offer to the village of Cary after trustees refused to accept the gift without knowing their identities has taken their money elsewhere.

The couple plans to donate $35,000 to the Cary Fire Protection District to buy a new defibrillator, Chief Jeffrey Macko said.

“If somebody wants to donate money for the benefit of the community, why wouldn’t we accept it?” Macko told the Northwest Herald.

After meeting resistance in an 11th-hour attempt to work with The Community Foundation for McHenry County to reveal their identities to a divided Village Board in exchange for a “yes” vote supporting the donation, the donors walked away.

“The donors have rescinded their donation of $60,000,” Mayor Mark Kownick wrote in an email to the board Sept. 25. “They will find other opportunities to invest this donation.”

The couple continued working with the Community Foundation for McHenry County and decided to make a donation to the fire district, which had planned to pay for the expensive defibrillator before the donors approached with an offer in October.

“It was 100 percent anonymous,” said Robin Doeden, the foundation’s executive director.

Although a check has not been delivered to the fire protection district, Doeden said the $35,000 donation fell in line with the couple’s philanthropic philosophy.

Mark Guerra, a member of the Cary Fire Protection District’s board of trustees, called the gift generous.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” he said.

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