Glenview bar hosts fundraiser for Cooper Roberts, boy paralyzed in Highland Park shooting

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Monday, October 17, 2022
Glenview bar hosts fundraiser for Cooper Roberts, boy paralyzed in Highland Park shooting
The fundraiser generated for the $20,000 for the family.

GLENVIEW, Ill. (WLS) -- It's been a long road to recovery for Highland Park shooting survivor Cooper Roberts.

He's the young boy who was left paralyzed after the Fourth of July tragedy.

Family and friends came out Sunday to support Cooper at a community fundraiser in northwest suburban Glenview.

A Glenview bar is planning to host a fundraiser to help the Roberts family as 8-year-old Cooper continues to recover after he was paralyzed in the Highland Park shooting.

The fundraiser, hosted by Whiskey River Bar and Grill in Glenview, is one they hold every year and this year the family-oriented establishment dedicated the event for Cooper and his family.

Tens of thousands of dollars were raised in a strong show of support for the little, but mighty boy.

His recovery has been a slow and steady process, one this community wanted to propel and uplift.

"This has been the most amazing thing, I just-I wouldn't have even expect it to turn out this way," said Amanda Hilmer, event co-organizer and manager at Whiskey River.

The 8-year-old was paralyzed from the waist down after a gunman opened fire on a crowd during the annual Highland Park July 4th parade, killing seven people and wounding several others.

"I have young kids [and] I live five minutes from where it happened," said attendee, Brian Friedoper. "It's an unbelievable tragedy and it really hits home."

His story deeply touched the co-organizers of this event.

"Seeing that, as a mom myself, it's just tragic. It's heartbreaking, so we thought, why not Cooper," Hilmer said. "He's just great. He's really grabbed our hearts."

RELATED: Cooper Roberts update: 8-year-old paralyzed in Highland Park parade shooting joins twin in 3rd grade

"Something tragic happens in your community -- come together, show up [and] do what you can," added fundraiser attendee, Antennian DeCarlo.

The family-friendly event featured fun activities including, face-painting, pumpkin painting and a magic show.

Organizers said 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the Roberts family for Cooper's ongoing medical needs and other expenses, including home adaptations and medical equipment.

The fundraiser generated for the $20,000 for the family.

"Everybody has been beyond generous. This is so heartwarming; its amazing," Hilmer said.

Cooper's family released a statement, saying in part that they are overwhelmed by the generosity from the owners of Whiskey River and all who made this possible.

"We are grateful beyond measure for the love you have shown our family in our darkest days. Thank you for the bottom of our hearts," said Cooper's mom, Keely Roberts.