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updated: 8/28/2011 9:13 PM

Carol Stream church raises money to help family with special-needs son

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  • Debrina Moore holds the hand of her 5-year-old son Christian while watching a performance during a service Sunday at Lutheran Church of the Master in Carol Stream. The church held a benefit concert for the family and Christian, who has cerebral palsy.

       Debrina Moore holds the hand of her 5-year-old son Christian while watching a performance during a service Sunday at Lutheran Church of the Master in Carol Stream. The church held a benefit concert for the family and Christian, who has cerebral palsy.
    Samantha Bowden | Staff Photographer

  • Jeremy Benshish, 14, of South Elgin, sings "Blue Suede Shoes" during a benefit concert Sunday at Lutheran Church of the Master in Carol Stream. The event raised money for the family of Christian Moore, 5, of Glendale Heights, who has cerebral palsy.

       Jeremy Benshish, 14, of South Elgin, sings "Blue Suede Shoes" during a benefit concert Sunday at Lutheran Church of the Master in Carol Stream. The event raised money for the family of Christian Moore, 5, of Glendale Heights, who has cerebral palsy.
    Samantha Bowden | Staff Photographer

  • Cabri Moore, 11, from left, Beatrice Kimbrough, Debrina Moore and Christian Moore, 5, watch a Celtic dance performance during a benefit concert Sunday at the Lutheran Church of the Master in Carol Stream. The benefit concert was held to help the single mother care for her children including Christian, who has cerebral palsy.

       Cabri Moore, 11, from left, Beatrice Kimbrough, Debrina Moore and Christian Moore, 5, watch a Celtic dance performance during a benefit concert Sunday at the Lutheran Church of the Master in Carol Stream. The benefit concert was held to help the single mother care for her children including Christian, who has cerebral palsy.
    Samantha Bowden | Staff Photographer

  • Debrina Moore of Glendale Heights smiles with her son Christian, 5, while watching a Celtic dance during a benefit concert at Lutheran Church of the Master in Carol Stream Sunday morning. The concert was held as a benefit for the family.

       Debrina Moore of Glendale Heights smiles with her son Christian, 5, while watching a Celtic dance during a benefit concert at Lutheran Church of the Master in Carol Stream Sunday morning. The concert was held as a benefit for the family.
    Samantha Bowden | Staff Photographer

  • Caley Sawchuk performs an Irish dance for Christian Moore and his family during a benefit concert Sunday at Lutheran Church of the Master in Carol Stream.

       Caley Sawchuk performs an Irish dance for Christian Moore and his family during a benefit concert Sunday at Lutheran Church of the Master in Carol Stream.
    Samantha Bowden | Staff Photographer

 

For Debrina Moore, Sunday was a day full of emotion.

There were some tears -- mostly for joy -- plenty of smiling and an overarching feeling of extreme thanks.

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Moore, her 5-year-old son Christian and her 11-year-old daughter Cabri are the recipients of Lutheran Church of The Master's 19th Summer Sunshine concert fundraiser. The performances started after a brunch when Moore and some of her friends and family got to mingle with church members.

"We have felt extremely welcome," Moore said.

The single mom raising her two kids in Glendale Heights is considering joining the church. It's closer to home than her old church and the service is shorter, which makes it manageable for her son. Christian has a host of health problems, including cerebral palsy. He can't walk or talk, and he needs constant care.

The concert Sunday was the first time the whole family left the house together in more than a year. Moore said this is also the first summer her son has not been in the hospital.

Carol Connor is a member of the church committee that helped choose the Moores as fundraiser recipients. The Carol Stream woman said deciding from a list of candidates is always very hard, but when a congregation member brought in a Daily Herald article describing the Moores' hardships, the vote was unanimous.

"We thought, 'No brainer. We have to help this family,'" Connor said.

Connor and a group of other women from the church performed "The Teddy Bears' Picnic" during the concert Sunday, giving Christian and his sister Cabri teddy bears to keep.

The fundraiser was as much a gift for Cabri as her mom and brother. Moore said she hopes she can use some of the money to get home care for Christian and spend quality time with her daughter, who she sometimes feels she neglects because of Christian's needs. Mostly, though, Moore will use what she can to catch up on bills.

Michael Benshish, director of worship and music at the church, said the total amount raised could fall anywhere between $3,500 and $10,000. Community members who did not make the concert can still send cash or checks to the church until Sept. 5. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans will match donations up to $3,500, and the Moores will have their check by the end of September.

"I'm overwhelmed today," Moore said. "I feel like my prayers have been answered."

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