The aunt of the boy who drowned in Bangs Lake earlier this month is raising funds for her nephew’s funeral.
Angi Rodriguez, on behalf of the boy’s mother, Vanessa Rodriguez, has started a GoFundMe page for 9-year-old Geraldo Rodriguez Jr.
The boy is survived by three siblings, his mother and father, grandparents and was a “nephew to many,” according to his obituary.
The family held a wake in Illinois and a funeral in Florida, where Geraldo was raised. The family had moved to Wauconda a little more than a year ago, according to the fundraiser page.
Geraldo died after an April 19 boating accident.
Geraldo and a 11-year-old friend had been playing in the neighborhood near the lake when they came across a paddle boat and decided to take it out on the water, officials have said.
The two were on the paddle boat around 7:20 p.m. when they panicked because of strong winds and rough waters. The boys jumped into the late to swim back to shore, but conditions made it difficult to swim, officials have said.
Fishermen pulled the 11-year-old out of the water, but couldn’t initially find Geraldo.
His body was found about noon the following day in the deepest part of the lake, officials said.
The family was supposed to be celebrating Geraldo’s upcoming birthday that weekend, his aunt said.
McHenry-based nonprofit Lemonade Brigade held a fundraiser for Geraldo April 22 at the Wauconda Fire Department, according to its social media posts.
The Rodriguez campaign has raised $18,297 of its $15,000 goal and can be found at www.gofundme.com/in-loving-memory-of-geraldo-rodriguez.