October 12th, 2017 3:52 PM
The information about Alexius O'Malley's family in Puerto Rico has been slow coming.
O'Malley, an Oak Park resident, says her grandmother's niece is the only member of her extended family who has cellphone service and "conveying what limited information we have about the family."
Along with the shortage of phone coverage, the island is suffering from a lack of fresh water, supplies and electricity to refrigerate food and medication, O'Malley said.
Unable to go to Puerto Rico herself, O'Malley began working to figure out what could be done stateside.
"The situation is absolutely dire and the island needs all the help we can give," O'Malley wrote in a recent email.
Over the last few weeks, she spearheaded an effort to hold a benefit concert for Puerto Rico, which will be held at FitzGerald's nightclub, 6615 W. Roosevelt Rd. in Berwyn, on Oct. 17.
O'Malley and other organizers also have established an event website on eventbrite.com, where people can purchase tickets for the show as well as make donations to the Hispanic Federation's Hurricane Relief for Puerto Rico Fund.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the show will feature performances by The Business and DJ Chip Davis. Tickets for the show are $16, but O'Malley and organizers are hoping for additional donations.
O'Malley said she has been close friends with members of The Business for years – her uncle was a founding member of the band about 35 years ago – and realized that "if I get them to play, to donate their time and talents, we can put this together and make this a legit event."
"I asked them to do something for Puerto Rico, and in a day or two they were like, 'Yeah, we're all in,'" O'Malley said in a recent telephone interview.
O'Malley said it is her first time organizing a charity event.
O'Malley has received help from friends and family in and around Oak Park, and noted that the printing and design for the flyer advertising the event, among other services, were donated by locals.
"People have come out of the woodwork to make this event come to life," she said.
Organizers still have to pay for security and someone to run the sound board, but the overall cost of the event will cost "pennies compared to what you'd need to pay for an event like this," she said.
To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2017 Answer Book, please click here.
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