LANSING | After conducting a fundraising memorial service last year that produced nearly $20,000 for groups that deal with domestic violence, friends and family of Gena Chiodo decided to do it again this year.
It has been more than a year since Chiodo’s body was found in a forest preserve near Lowell after she had been missing for three months.
Her live-in boyfriend, Donol Clark, was charged with murder and concealment of a homicide for the incident. He remains at the Cook County Jail awaiting trial, and he is scheduled to appear again at the Sixth District Cook County Circuit Courthouse in Markham on Friday.
But Chiodo’s friends say they don’t want her memory to fade away. That is why they plan to hold a domestic violence fundraiser Saturday at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 178th Street and Lorenz Avenue.
The event, according to K of C staffer Debbie Tarbell, will take place from 6 p.m. to midnight.
Admission to the event will cost $25, and food, soft drinks, and music by the band The Relics will be included. A cash bar serving alcohol also will be provided, and there will be a raffle of assorted prizes donated by area businesses that also will add to the total of money raised by the event.
Tarbell said she was unsure if the event would top the roughly 400 people who attended last year’s Chiodo fundraising tribute.
“A lot of people last year showed up and paid at the door, we weren’t expecting 400,” Tarbell said. “We’re hoping for a good turnout again this year, but usually the first year you do something brings in the biggest crowd.”
Tarbell said that this year’s event also will benefit groups that address the problem of domestic violence, although she was unsure of which groups would be the beneficiaries.
Last year, donations were given from the event’s proceedings to the Haven House in Hammond and the South Suburban Family Shelter in Homewood.
The Knights of Columbus Hall was chosen for the fundraising events because Chiodo, a Calumet City resident who worked at a hair salon in Munster, and her friends were regulars who often hung out at the bar in the hall.