WOODRIDGE – The Woodridge Jaycees have organized a Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser for 11 families displaced by an apartment complex fire last month.
The families have been living with friends and relatives since the May 1 fire destroyed the 12-unit complex in Golf Meadow Estates in the 7700 block of Woodward Avenue.
All residents – and their pets – escaped the blaze without injury but it caused catastrophic damage to the building, burning up most of the families' belongings. Fire officials said a propane grill caused the fire.
The dinner will be held at Zero Gravity, 22W613 75th St., from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday. The cost is $15 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under, though additional monetary donations will be accepted at the door.
Admission includes a spaghetti dinner. Beer and wine will be available for an additional cost. Raffles, a silent auction and music are planned as well.
In the days following the fire, the Woodridge Jaycees and other local groups and residents stepped up for the families, collecting gift cards and monetary donations.
Debbi White, a member of the Woodridge Jaycees, lives in a neighboring apartment complex building and helped manage the maintenance of the building lost to the fire, a job that had her working close with many of the residents there.
"This one hit really close to home for me. I've known many of them for a long time. It's been pretty heart-breaking," White said last month.
Fire officials said it would be a minimum of six months before the building can be re-opened. The fire caused an estimated $1.5 million in damage.
White added that the residents displaced by the fire include five children who are 5 and younger, as well as two special needs children.
"Many of them are living with family and friends, but long-term they need to try to keep the children in the same school district," White said.
Those who cannot attend the fundraiser on Saturday but would still like to donate can do so by visiting www.woodridgejaycees.org.
IF YOU GO
WHAT Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser for apartment fire victims
WHERE Zero Gravity, 22W613 75th St.
WHEN 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday
COST $15 for adults, $10 for kids 12 and under