After a fire destroyed a home in Warrenville Saturday morning, friends are rallying to support a man who was severely burned and a family that lost all of their belongings and sentimental keepsakes.
A fund has been created for Will Lowe, 33, after he sustained third degree burns over half of his body. A fundraiser will be held for Lowe on Saturday, Oct. 20 at Ray's Evergreen Tavern in St. Charles. Go to the Will Lowe Assistance Fund page for more information.
One of the residents who lost everything is a Wheaton Warrenville South freshman, who is active in youth football, wrestling and rugby. To ensure he can continue to participate after losing all of his equipment, Michael Dalan, director of the Warrenville Tiger youth wrestling program, coach and friend to the Shultz family, has organized a fundraiser for 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21 at the Warrenville VFW, 3S371 Mignin Dr., Warrenville.
In his letter to Tiger parents, Dalan wrote,
"For a moment I want you to clear your mind and consider the following... You are in that kind of deep sleep that happens in the early morning hours after a full night's sleep, about an hour or two before you start to naturally wake and, you are suddenly jarred from your sleep by someone yelling "FIRE" and the thick acrid smell of smoke. Your next minute is filled with the frantic search for loved ones and friends that you know are in your house which you have now begun to understand is on fire and quickly spreading. In the very next minute, you are outside your house and only able to watch all of your worldly possessions perish in the mother of all house fires. Think about it. Literally all of your possessions... gone. No clothing. No Food. No school supplies. No cell phone. No TV or video games. No shoes or socks. No pots or pans. No car. No nothing. What you are standing in is what you've got. And thankfully, your life.
"This is what Saturday, September 15th was like for (the Shultz family). To many of you... (Shultz) is a friend and teammate either from Tiger Club wrestling, Warthog Rugby, WYFL Tiger Football or from his many baseball teams he has played on to possibly his newest group of friends, the folks at WWS and the Tiger Nation of Football players and supportive fellow classmates. His dad is his biggest supporter and fan and is always at his events to support him. Any of you who know him know how nice a man he is and what a fun person he is to be around. His great energy and never say die attitude will help him and his son during this time of need.
"It is in that vain that I reach out to each of you today. The community has already begun to rally in support of (the family) by donating some clothes and basic items like toiletries and such but, much more will be needed to make this a true recovery from what I can scarcely fathom. I am asking that each of you and your extended families attempt to make a contribution to an account I have set up in their behalf. Many of you have given clothing and other personal items already and I thank each of you for your efforts. if each of you could go one more step and contribute to this fund then (they) will be able to hopefully get back on their feet and also help erase some of the tragedy that has left a mark on their lives."
Donations may be sent to:
The Shultz Family Fund
C/O American Chartered Bank
4685 Winfield Road (corner of Diehl and Winfield roads)
Warrenville, IL 60555
The 33-year-old man who suffered severe burns in the fire is in critical condition at Loyola University Medical Center. Fire officials have not yet received a report regarding the cause of the fire, according to the Daily Herald.