A longtime Geneva family is helping to host a fundraiser for the Misericordia Heart of Mercy home in Chicago, where former Geneva resident Andrew Althoff, 30, has lived for the past four years.
Althoff’s sister, Amy Drake, said many residents’ families host fundraisers for Misericordia – a residential community for people with mild to profound developmental disabilities. Drake said Misericordia is a nonprofit organization that’s run mainly by volunteers. Residents who are able also help in various jobs, such as recycling, and working at the campus bakery and greenhouse.
“Misericordia is kind of unlike most places,” Drake said. “They just have everything there. They have a restaurant on their campus. It’s staffed by volunteers and also staffed by people who are high-functioning enough to work there.”
The fundraiser, Mis at the Zoo, is a family-friendly event at Brookfield Zoo scheduled for Oct. 6. Admission, which is $50 a adult and $25 a child, includes passes to special exhibits, such as a dolphin show and “Dinosaurs Alive!”
The day will include a raffle, the “Hungry as a Bear Picnic Lunch,” a DJ and cash bar, games and activities for all ages, entrance to the zoo and parking. Raffle prizes include Notre Dame tickets, Chicago Bears tickets and American Girl packages. The event will be from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and tickets can be bought at www.misatthezoo.com.
Drake said her parents have lived in Geneva for about 25 years, and Althoff attended Geneva schools. She said he often could be seen riding his bike and had many friends in the Geneva Police Department.
She said in his time at Misericordia, Althoff has thrived and has worked several jobs on campus.
“Drew has really liked it there,” she said. “I think he’s really comfortable there.”
Drake said she got the idea for hosting the fundraiser at Brookfield Zoo because she knows someone who works there. She said she later realized that the zoo has been involved with Misericordia and was awarded a Chicago Emmy for a video that Brookfield Zoo produced with Misericordia.
The Althoff family is hosting the fundraiser with the Stiefels family of Western Springs, who also have a
family member living at Misericordia.
“We’ve been lucky. We’ve had a lot of companies donate [toward the fundraiser]. It was especially nice that Geneva companies donated,” Drake said, adding that Geneva businesses included the Herrington Inn & Spa, Villa Verone and Chazio’s Hair Colour Salon.
If you go
What: Mis at the Zoo fundraiser for Misericordia Heart of Mercy, a residential community for people with mild to profound developmental disabilities.
Where: Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W. 31st St., Brookfield
When: From 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 6
Info: Tickets will not be sold at the door the day of the event. To purchase tickets, visit www.misatthezoo.com. Tickets are $50 per adult and $25 per child ages 3 through 12. Children age 2 and younger are admitted for free.