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Memorial walk to benefit Therapeutic Day School

Glendale Heights – A local family is organizing a fundraiser in honor of their late son. The second annual Christopher Lyons Memorial Walk will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 27 at Meyers Woods, 2500 Oldfield Road, Darien. Donations are 100 percent tax deductible and benefit the Christopher Lyons Fund at the GlenOaks Hospital Foundation, which supports Adventist GlenOaks Therapeutic Day School.

 

Nearly 200 people attended the inaugural Christopher Lyons Memorial Walk Nov. 28, 2009; more than $16,000 was raised.

 

“Last year’s inaugural Christopher Lyons Memorial Walk was a real turning point on our journey of healing,” said Sue Lyons, Christopher’s mother. “Standing there on the chilly November morning two days after Thanksgiving made me think how absolutely blessed we are that our tragedy has turned into something beautiful and powerful. Chris always made a difference to us – but now his memory is making a huge difference for the school that changed not only his life, but ours as well.”

 

The Lyons family, who live in Darien, has raised nearly $86,000 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.”

 

Items purchased by the fund thus far include:

  • More than 60 desktop computers for all three Therapeutic Day School campuses
  • New laptops and Smart Board technology
  • Keyboards for students to compose their own music
  • Nintendo Wii gaming systems
  • Equine therapy field trips and certification of staff
  • Sewing machines and craft supplies
  • Guitars, iPods and amplifiers/speakers
  • Graphic design software and printers
  • GPS equipment
  • Inspirational dance troupe events
  • Annual Christopher Lyons art awards
  • Frames to display the winning art projects throughout the year

 

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 three 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 are campuses in Glendale Heights, North Aurora and Glen Ellyn.

For more information, e-mail chrislyons.fund@gmail.com or call 630-545-3942.

 

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Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.

 

Media contact: Lisa Parro, senior public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, Lisa.parro@ahss.org;  630-312-7508