Fundraiser held to honor store shooting victim

May 4, 2008 10:34:47 PM PDT
Three months ago, five women were shot and killed in a Lane Bryant store in southwest suburban Tinley Park.A fundraiser was held Sunday to help carry on the legacy of one of the victims, Carrie Hudek-Chiuso.

"Carrie Fest" was held in Hudek-Chiuso's hometown of Frankfort, Illinois and began at approximately 4 p.m. Sunday. Those gathered enjoyed food and entertainment in support of a cause close to the shooting victim's heart.

The former high school counselor dedicated her life to helping troubled and disadvantaged teens. Those who loved her tried to build on that legacy Sunday by raising money at the fundraiser.

"It's going to be a continuing education fund, and we hope to help the kids that Carrie worked so closely with, whether it be a two or four-year scholarship, that will be determined by how much money we raise today," said Mike Hudek, the victim's brother.

Carrie was one of five women shot and killed at the Tinley Park Lane Bryant store February 2. The murder is still not resolved, but while the family continues to grieve, the focus was elsewhere Sunday.

"How do you describe how hard it is, waves of grief and sorrow. It doesn't go away. Hopefully, we're here to celebrate today, to celebrate her legacy. We don't want to think about her being dead, we want to think about her legacy being alive here," said the victim's father, John Hudek.

Fifty thousand dollars was raised in advance of Sunday's event. Hudek-Chiuso's husband said the organizers hoped to raise another $50,00 during the day through ticket sales, raffles and a silent auction.

"I hope we sell this place out and raise a whole lot of money for a great cause, especially toward the kids that Carrie loved deeply worked with. She gave her heart and soul to that school," Tony Chiuso told ABC7 Chicago earlier Sunday.

Approximately 400 tickets were sold in advance of Sunday's event. Organizers said they hoped that by 10 p.m. between 1,000 and 1,500 people would have attended.

For more information, log on to www.carriesfund.org.


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