Highland Park victim's family receives free heating, AC unit; bakery raises money for those affected

Highland Park, Illinois shooting killed 7, injured 39

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Friday, July 8, 2022
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The family of one of those killed in the Highland Park, IL shooting got a free heating and AC unit Friday, and Sugarcoated bakery is raising money.

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- The family of one of those killed in the Highland Park parade shooting received a new furnace and central air for free Friday, after their late relative had already scheduled to have the work done.

It's an act of kindness the family of Highland Park parade shooting victim Eduardo Uvaldo never expected.

"It warmed our hearts because it is something my father wanted," Uvaldo's daughter Katrina Mendez said. "And they are doing it for us today. Today's his birthday."

On what would have been his 70th birthday, a new furnace and central air are being installed at no cost at the family's multi-generational home.

Last week, the patriarch and retired maintenance worker had already set up to have the work done.

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But after he was killed on July Fourth, the family planned on canceling the job.

The Uvaldos received their surprise gift when contractor Chris Sugano called to give his condolences and more.

"And I said, 'the reason for my call is I wanted to make sure that you didn't cancel but instead that we could do this for free for you guys,'" ARS Rescue Rooter General Manager Sugano said.

On Friday morning, the install on both units, valued at $15,000, began.

A GoFundMe started by one of the Uvaldo granddaughters has already raised over $90,000.

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"We're just thankful for everything," family friend Jackie Tapia said.

It's just another example of how a community of those touched by the violence are coming together after the horrific tragedy.

Over at Sugarcoated, a new popular bakery open in downtown Highland Park only six months, the owners are offering their own recipe for healing, especially for kids.

"If we can for one moment take that away and make them smile or just distract them, then we've done our job," Sugarcoated co-owner Hillary Rikower said.

They're offering children free sprinkle cookies and chalk if they want to express themselves.

Along with cookie decorating, the business is also donating, over the next two days, 25% of their daily proceeds to the Highland Park July Fourth victims fund.

"It's a really difficult time for everyone. It's emotional," Sugarcoated co-owner Allison Schachter said.