WHEELING, Ill. — A fundraiser was held in the northwest suburbs Sunday in support of the families of four Buffalo Grove High School seniors who died in a car crash.
“I wanted to do something for the community,” said Josh Kaplan, owner of Josh’s Hot Dogs in Northbrook. “It’s these times where we’re supposed to step in together and really help those families that really need our support.”
Kaplan and his staff took over the parking lot at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Wheeling to grill up hot dogs and hamburgers, with the plan of donating all proceeds to the families of Richard De Ita, Kevin Hernandez-Teran, Ricky Barcenas and Jesus Rodriguez — the four high school seniors who were killed in a car crash last Tuesday.
The turn out was more than Kaplan expected.
“It’s just touched my heart honestly,” Kaplan said. “I’m just taken back by this all.”
“There were almost a thousand people here a little bit ago,” said Michael Grossman, a supporter at the fundraiser. “And it really holds true to what the community lost.”
While many who came out to support the fundraiser Sunday did not know the families of the four high school students who died personally, their stories and the thought of family members grieving spurred on what turned out to be a show of unity.
“You can tell that even though people don’t know them,” Grossman said. “People just have that love to give back and support.”
Between food sales and cash donations made Sunday, at least $11,900 was raised and will be split evenly between the four families, according to Kaplan.