FOX RIVER GROVE, Ill. — Preparations are underway at the Norge Ski Jump in Fox River Grove for a weekend event supporting Angelo Pleotis, the Lake in the Hills man paralyzed when a car hit his home this past summer.
“He’s kind of like a teddy bear. Real nice guy. Always upbeat no matter what,” said Norge Ski Club president Scott Smith. “He’s a lifetime member. Always help out during our events and it’s just a shame what happened.”
Police said on July 27, 27-year-old Connor Kirkpatrick of Crystal Lake crashed his car into Pleotis’ home in the 100 block of Heather Drive.
At the time, Pleotis was in his bathroom.
“The car hit him. He ended up getting thrown threw a wall into the next room through a washer and dryer and he ended up sustaining two spine injuries, one that caused paralysis from the chest down,” said the victim’s son, Phillip Pleotis.
“It was just terrible. When I talked to Angelo later, after his surgery and everything, he said the last thing he remembers is reaching down for the shampoo. Next thing he knew he was waking up after surgery,” added Smith.
On Sunday, the Norge Ski Club is putting on a benefit – with food, live music from five bands, and raffle baskets – to raise money for Pleotis’ recovery.
The club is a special place for the Pleotis family; his children jumped here as kids, and his 11-year-old granddaughter competes now.
All money from the event will help cover Pleotis’ medical expenses.
“Rehab and wheelchair, access to a van, getting a van, he’s probably going to have someone living in the house with him,” Smith said.
“I’m just so excited to see everybody come out,” Pleotis’ son told WGN News. “We’ve had such huge, huge support from our community. All of the donations that have come in, it’s just amazing to see everyone come together.”
Admission to the Sunday event is $20 and begins at 10:30 a.m.