Some people are so special, they continue to have an impact on their community even after they are gone.
Tyler Caruso's dream of uniting the community through music lives on in the 10th annual Tyler Brett Caruso Memorial Concert, set for 7 p.m. Thursday, May 24 in Lincoln Park, at Main and Fourth streets in downtown St. Charles.
Eight local bands, mostly made up of students from St. Charles North and East high schools, will play at the concert, which is expected to last about two hours. The bands scheduled to play include: Brynn and Jess, Under the Willow, St. Charles East Jazz Workshop, Sammy Perez, Neighborhood Watch, Diver Dan, Hoban Sisters, and Six String Crossing.
"This was Tyler's dream," said Marilyn Caruso, Tyler's mother. "Instead of rivalry (between St. Charles East and North high schools), he wanted to bring the community together."
Tyler, who died of cardiac arrest at the age of 17, was an honors student, top athlete, musician and community leader at St. Charles East High School.
After his death in 2002, local students and members of the Downtown St. Charles Partnership, of which Tyler was a student board member, stepped up to put together the event, which has taken place every year.
The concert is free, but donations are accepted to the Tyler Brett Caruso Memorial Fund, which has awarded scholarship to graduating seniors from District 303 high schools every year since its inception.
Marilyn Caruso said this year's scholarship recipients are Anna Rose Martines from East and Adam Jacob Hemmingsen from North.
"We have given 28 scholarships to date at both high schools," Marilyn Caruso said. "Past scholarship recipients are invited to the concert, and we (the Caruso family) will be there too."
Hungry audiences can bring food or purchase it at the park.
"We'll have food vendors there, (including) Must Love Dogs, Kimmer's Ice Cream, Domino's Pizza and Jersey Mike's Subs," said Meghan Papke of the St. Charles Park District.
In case of rain, the concert will be held at the Arcada Theater, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles.
For details, call (630) 513-6200.