Benefit in memory of late Hometown girl set for Saturday
BY BOB RAKOW Correspondent August 16, 2012 4:36PM
Kaylah Lentine, 14, of Hometown, died May 25, one day after being struck by a pickup truck at about 8 a.m. while crossing Southwest Highway west of Cicero Avenue in Oak Lawn.
Updated: September 18, 2012 6:12AM
Kaylah Lentine would have started high school this week, walking through the doors of Oak Lawn Community High School with many of her longtime friends.
Instead, they are beginning their high school careers without Kaylah, many still struggling with her tragic death in May, just days before they graduated from Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School.
“They’re still having a hard time with it,” said Kaylah’s mother, Krista Wilkinson.
Kaylah, 14, of Hometown, died May 25, one day after being struck by a pickup truck about 8 a.m. while crossing Southwest Highway west of Cicero Avenue in Oak Lawn. She was on her way to school to receive a leadership award when the accident occurred.
The family and village officials are taking steps to add pedestrian-friendly traffic controls at the intersection, and such safety will be on the minds of many Saturday, when a benefit for the family is held in Kaylah’s memory.
The Active Transportation Alliance, an organization dedicated to safer bicycling, walking and public transit, is expected to appear at the benefit, which will be from noon to 8 p.m. at Fatso’s, 6035 W. 95th St. in Oak Lawn. A parking lot across McVicker Avenue also will be used.
“Hopefully, we’ll educate kids about safety when they’re walking the streets,” Wilkinson said.
Kaylah and her friends were looking forward to high school, her mother said. Most were going to Oak Lawn, and they often talked about the challenges and obstacles they would face as freshman, Wilkinson said.
Wilkinson stayed in touch with many of her daughter’s friends over the summer, relying on them for support during a difficult time.
“At first, it made me sad,” Wilkinson said. “(But) I like to see her friends.”
She hopes to see many of them at the benefit. A $5 admission is good for a hot dog and beverage. Items from the regular menu of Fatso’s, which also is celebrating its one-year anniversary, will be available as well.
There will be raffles for gift certificates to several Oak Lawn restaurants, entertainment provided by a band and disc jockey, and a variety of children’s activities.
Proceeds will help Wilkinson and her family with various expenses.