Kevin Dowling was a son, grandson, brother, nephew, cousin and friend to many. Although he passed away from complications of heat stroke and a liver transplant 17 years ago, his memory and name are still very much alive.
Family and friends are hosting the 13th annual Kevin Dowling “Christmas is for Kids Toy Drive” from 3 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 1. The toy drive will be held at 115 Bourbon Street, 3359 W. 115th St., in Merrionette Park.
Guests will be treated to crafts, food, drink and entertainment. Santa is expected to make an appearance bringing a gift for every kid in attendance.
This is a no-cost event. All that is asked is that guests bring new, unwrapped toys that will be distributed to children at:
- Little Company of Mary Hospital & Health Care Centers
- COURAGE Program at St. Germaine’s of Oak Lawn
- La Rabida Hospital
- In Memory of Tom Fenton, Loyola Hospital’s Ronald McDonald Child Life Program and Burn Center.
Monetary donations are also being accepted to go toward the purchase of toys for the toy drive. Sponsors in the amount of $500 for this year’s toy drive are also needed to help underwrite the event.
Kevin was the co-captain of the Mt. Carmel High School football team when he collapsed of heatstroke in August 1995 while at football practice during extreme heat. He suffered liver failure and cardiac arrest after a liver transplant and died on Aug. 26, 1995.
He was inducted into the Mt. Carmel High School Hall of Fame in May 2012.
Following his death, a scholarship fund was established to keep his name and memory alive. For more information about the toy drive or to sponsor the event, contact Jim McKeever at 773-972-6264.