LAKE IN THE HILLS, Ill. (WLS) -- Uprising Bakery and Café will be staying open in Lake in the Hills.
Owner Corinna Sac said, until this week, she was on the verge of losing everything -- not just her bakery and café.
"Our house is on the line, our cars, our children's savings account -- everything is here in this business. My kids helped paint the walls, we're very invested," Sac said.
The bakery has been the target of bigotry and anti-LGBTQ hate and harassment since last summer after Sac announced they would host a drag show on the premises.
"It became really evident in January, February time frame that we weren't going to be able to make it another few months here. So we decided we are going to have to close the doors," she said.
But that all changed for Sac after an outpouring of support.
"We needed to have $30,000 by [Friday] in order to stay open and we exceeded that amount just on one GoFundMe," Sac said.
Instead, through GoFundMe and in-house donations, they raised more than $50,000.
"People are realizing that it's not enough to just do thoughts and prayers, or 'we're sending our love.' People are actually putting their money where their thoughts and prayers are, or they're putting their feet on the ground and they're actually making changes," Sac said.
Now, the focal point of the space is this board with messages of love. It was the largest board placed after vandals smashed out the bakery's windows last year.
"It's just a reminder for us every day to keep going, and when people come in they can read that too. And when people come in, there might be a message that they really needed to hear that day," Sac said.
Governor JB Pritzker even left his own message saying, "Stay Strong! So much love!"
Sac said they will have to move locations after facing such hate, but she wants to stay in McHenry County.
"People want us in McHenry County. Uprising is more than a bakery with vegan and gluten-free choices, it is a safe space. We will stay in McHenry County because that is my home. We are exploring new locations to move at a future date," Sac said.
Sac said no matter where they move, these boards full of love solace and solidarity from the community will be coming with them.
"In the interim, we will focus on the bakery and close the café in mid-April. We will use that space for private events and some retail products on consignment," Sac said. We still need community support to keep the business running. As long as our supporters continue to come to us for vegan, gluten-free, nut-free and custom bakery goods as well as catering, we will continue to serve them!"
Her message now?
"It's about taking that action and standing up for people, and using your power and your voice to help people along when they might not have it," she said.