Cory’s Project: Five Years of Lifting Children’s Spirits, Saturday in Zion

Silent Auction, Raffle, Toy & Check Collection

Dec. 3, 9 a.m. – Noon at the Inn at Market Square, Zion

by Tina Johansson

It’s been five years since Michele Batz of Winthrop Harbor started “Cory’s Project” in memory of her son Cory who died at the age of 16, after fighting a courageous battle with t-cell lymphoma.

The project involves collecting toys for children battling cancer, and money to help with provisions for parents of the children who are being treated at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, the same place Cory went for his treatment.

On Saturday Dec. 3 the annual event will take place at the Inn at Market Square in Zion from 9 a.m. to noon. Visitors are encouraged to drop off new toys for children ages 0-18, checks and Visa gift cards.

There will be a silent auction at the event featuring desirable items including Chicago Cubs, Bears and Blackhawks memorabilia, as well as services and items from local businesses. A bake sale will be held, and there will be a raffle.

“Cory would be so humbled by the outpouring of love and support the community has given,” said Batz. “He had the attitude that when something bad happened, something good would come of it. Right now he would be smiling and shaking his head.” – Michele Batz, Cory’s mother

Money raised from the auction will go towards purchasing gift cards for gasoline and sustenance for the parents of the cancer-stricken children, to help them as they travel to the Milwaukee hospital.

“We also try to support the families throughout the year,” said Batz, a physical education instructor at Kenneth Murphy School in Beach Park. “At times hospital social workers will tell us of special requests parents have made, and we try to fill those needs as well.”

“We have given over 1,000 gifts each year since we started. The support and love from people is truly amazing and a blessing from God,” said Batz.

Batz said the gifts will be transported to the hospital on Dec. 10, by a number of people in the organization. Among them will be Cory’s Project board members Teri Comerford, vice president; Sam Merlock, treasurer; and Zach Richards, secretary.

“Cory would be so humbled by the outpouring of love and support the community has given,” said Batz. “He had the attitude that when something bad happened, something good would come of it. Right now he would be smiling and shaking his head.”

The Inn at Market Square is at 2723 Sheridan Road, Zion.

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