January 19, 2010
Darien family raises $12,500 for therapeutic day school
Glendale Heights – A local family organized a fundraiser that netted $12,500 for the Christopher Lyons Memorial Fund at the GlenOaks Hospital Foundation, which supports Adventist GlenOaks Therapeutic Day School. The fund is dedicated to the memory of their son Chris, whose life tragically ended July 25, 2007.
The Christopher Lyons Memorial walk was held Nov. 28 at Meyer Woods in Darien; nearly 200 people attended.
“This was our first walk and it was an unbelievable success,” said Sue Lyons, of Darien, Chris’s mom. “It completely exceeded my family’s expectations. We received an incredible amount of donations and support from friends, family and the community.”
The Lyons family has raised $75,000 for the Adventist GlenOaks Therapeutic Day School. Lyons says her goal is to raise enough money to provide more opportunities for expressive therapy to students.
“Chris thrived on art and music therapy at school,” she said. “Expressive therapy really seemed to get through to him. He would have loved to participate in equestrian therapy.”
The Christopher Lyons Memorial Fund supports Adventist GlenOaks Therapeutic Day School’s mission to expand the expressive therapies to reach more kids like Chris. Chris enrolled at the Therapeutic Day School in seventh grade, spent a year of high school at a Montana boarding school, and returned to the therapeutic day school’s west campus in North Aurora for his senior year. Shortly after graduating in 2007, Chris was fatally struck by a train in unincorporated Will County between Naperville and Aurora.
“What the Lyons family has done the last two years is nothing short of amazing and inspirational,” said Michelle Kallevik, executive director of the GlenOaks Hospital Foundation. “They have shown how dedication and passion can make such an enormous impact.”
Designed for children with learning disabilities and emotional and psychiatric problems, Adventist GlenOaks Therapeutic Day School was founded in 1995. Elementary through high-school age students earn normal academic credits while addressing their therapeutic goals. Along with traditional individual and group therapy, the school uses recreation, pets, music and art activities with certified therapists to help with physical, social and emotional growth.
The school is staffed by a caring group of teachers, nurses, social workers, therapists, clinical psychologists and a psychiatrist; there is one staff member for every three students. Its enrollment is approximately 120 students at north (main) campus in Glendale Heights, 40 at the west campus in North Aurora and 30 at the south campus in Glen Ellyn. The school is funded partly through local school districts in the six-county area that are reimbursed by the state and partly through Adventist GlenOaks Hospital and GlenOaks Hospital Foundation.
To donate to the Christopher Lyons Memorial Fund, call the GlenOaks Hospital Foundation at (630) 539-1510.