NORWOOD PARK — A Sunday fundraiser in Niles will support the family of 6-year-old Molly Morris, of Norwood Park, who has stage 4 cancer.
Fourteen friends of the Morris family organized the MollyStrong Family Day, which is 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday at Notre Dame College Prep, 7655 W. Dempster St. The event is to thank the community for their support and to raise money to help the family pay Molly’s mounting medical bills.
Tickets are $5 in cash. The event will have carnival games, a field-goal kicking contest, a reptile show, Mullane Godley Irish dancers, balloon creations and prizes.
“When everything happened with Molly, we jumped into action to think of a way to bring the community together to support the family but to also extend our extreme gratitude for everyone who has stood up for Molly,” said Katie Hickey, who went to high school and college with Molly’s mother, Erin Morris, and is helping organize Sunday’s event.
There will be concession stands for food and drinks, and children are invited to bring a book to donate to Lurie Children’s Hospital for a ticket to win a Radio Flyer wagon.
A signed Anthony Rizzo bat and a pair of Cubs tickets are just some of the prize items.
The best part about the event is Molly plans to attend if she feels well, her mother said.
“She’s my hero and the strongest person I know,” Erin Morris said.
Erin Morris said Molly has had a heavy week of radiation treatments and has seven more radiation sessions. The 6-year-old is undergoing a 42-week treatment plan that includes chemotherapy, radiation and possibly more surgeries.
Erin Morris said her daughter is keeping her spirits high.
Maggie Rahlfs, who also helped plan the Sunday event, described Molly as spunky and fierce.
“Her personality has captured all of us,” Rahlfs said. “She is an inspiration.”
Rahlfs has lived in South Edgebrook for 12 years and said she has never seen anything that has “captured the hearts of the Northwest Side” like Molly’s story.
The Morris family has received support from schools, community groups, churches, local fire departments and aldermen.
There’s a a Facebook page to keep the community updated on Molly’s progress.
Rahlfs also started an online fundraiser for the family that has raised over $24,000 so far.
She said more than 100 people signed up to volunteer and support Sunday’s event, and that doesn’t including dozens from Far Northwest Side grammar schools that plan to attend and host games.
“The overwhelming outpouring of support and love has been the biggest comfort to myself and our entire family,” Erin Morris previously said. “We would not be holding up the way we are without that love of the community. I still can’t believe this is happening to us, but I can’t believe how everyone has come together and shown us their love.
“The whole Northwest Side is covered in orange. It’s amazing. Every place put ribbons up for our girl.”
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