It Takes A Village
Southside Irish and Northside Polish Come Together to Support Family
Chris Posen Finnegan Benefit will take place on Sunday, February 25, 2018 at Gaelic Park
It was a Tuesday in early April 2015. Mike Finnegan, along with his siblings, was planning the funeral for his mother, Peg.
But he and his wife Chris couldn’t miss their appointment at University of Chicago Medical Center. Chris had been experiencing cramping and spasms in her legs that were waking her up in the middle of the night.
The diagnosis was devastating. ALS – Lou Gehrig’s Disease. “For a time, we didn’t tell anyone, not even the kids,” said Mike. “But as Chris’s symptoms became visible, I knew that we couldn’t manage the disease all by ourselves.”
To boost Chris’s morale, Mike started inviting family and friends over once a month. He wanted to make sure Chris was able to continue enjoying life, no matter what challenges the disease might bring.
It was at one of these get-togethers that Chris’s sister Diane Posen and Mike’s sister Maureen Moran began to talk. Help would be needed. Medical bills would be expensive. Care would be an absolute necessity in the future. Insurance and Medicare would never cover it all.
“We began to network and talk among our families and friends,” said Maureen. “What fund raising activities could we do? Who could create a website? Should we start a Go-Fund-Me page?”
And possibly a benefit – an Irish benefit. But benefits are not only a big commitment but a huge financial undertaking as well. But the results could mean the world of difference to Chris’s future. They had to try.
Gaelic Park members Willie Joe Casey and Dermot Murphy heard about the benefit. Having both known Mike’s mother Peg and father, the late Michael Finnegan, they got in touch and offered their help and support.
More offers of support and assistance arrived. Soon a committee was formed.
Chaired by Chris’ uncle Mike Lyng and Tom Dolan and appropriately nicknamed Chris’ ALStars, the committee was formed of people from across the City of Chicago and surrounding suburbs. They came together and made a plan.
Now there was more than just a committee. There was an entire community of activists supporting Mike and Chris and their family.
Soon fundraisers began to take place: Sunday afternoon bingo at the American Legion; golf outing at Silver Lake Country Club; Night at the Races at the Chieftain Irish Pub. All leading up to the main event.
“The culmination of a year of planning is about to come to fruition,” said Willie Joe. “It’s been an extraordinary effort by a lot of people, but the Chris Posen Finnegan Benefit will take place on Sunday, February 25, 2018 at Gaelic Park.”
“Chris and I are blessed to have such support,” said Mike. “I would have never imagined how many people would care, not only family and friends but acquaintances and people we have yet to know. It truly does take a village.”
The Chris Posen Finnegan Benefit
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Oak Forest, Illinois
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It Takes A Village