On Saturday, Sept. 8 a fundraiser will be held at to raise awareness for suicide prevention and substance abuse and to honor Matt Schindlbeck, who took his own life in March 2012.
Rebecca Gonzalez, a friend of Matt’s and a leading force behind the fundraiser, said there will be a raffle, bake sale, custom t-shirt and koozie sale and more to raise funds for Matt’s parents, Craig and Kathy Schindlbeck. The money will go toward helping them pay off Matt’s debts, which included student loans, mortgage costs and more.
“Matt was truly an amazing person with a huge heart and kind soul. He was always giving and certainly always put everyone before himself,” said Gonzalez of the 2006 graduate.
Matt earned a BA in accounting from Northern Illinois University, and was a member of the Eagle Scouts of America, Student Accounting Society and the Illinois CPA Society.
Gonzalez described him as the type of person who would help anyone, support you through anything and always be the one you could confide in.
About a year before his death, a drug addiction became a part of his life. Gonzalez said it caused him to lose his job, his long-time girlfriend and many good friends. He moved back in with his parents for in-home rehabilitation.
“He always had smile on his face and never asked for help or showed any indication of his struggles and what he was going through,” said Gonzalez. “Matt was such a strong person, but this demon he was fighting was stronger and he ended up taking his own life when he was just 24.”
The fundraiser will take place on from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sept. 8 at Scotty’s, located at 4571 Route 71.
Bar manager Dana McComb said the restaurant will be donating some items for the raffle valued around $600, as well as, depending on the sales that evening, a percentage of all profits.
“We’ll be offering specials that day as well,” said McComb, and they will also be collecting donations by the door. No one is required to donate to still come in, she said.
To receive the meal and drink specials, McComb said just to mention that you were there for the fundraiser.
“Even through all Matt’s struggles he still managed to find a way to help others,” said Gonzalez. “That’s the Matt that will be remembered in our hearts forever.”