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updated: 7/29/2012 7:30 AM

Fundraiser for kidney recipient raises nearly $1,000

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  • Kalin Koychev of Wheeling, who donated a kidney to Nathan Saavedra, 3, of Carpentersville, continues to help the Saavedra family by raising funds.

      Kalin Koychev of Wheeling, who donated a kidney to Nathan Saavedra, 3, of Carpentersville, continues to help the Saavedra family by raising funds.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer


A weekend fundraiser that Wheeling resident Kalin Koychev held for the Saavedra family so far has raised about $850.

Moreover, that dollar amount is expected to increase because there are more donations coming Koychev's way.

Last month, Koychev donated his left kidney to 3-year-old Nathan Saavedra, of Carpentersville, who suffers from prune belly syndrome, but it seems Koychev's devotion knows no bounds.

Koychev held a fundraiser on Sunday at Lynfred Winery in Wheeling to help the Saavedra family pay Nathan's medical bills and to start an initiative called "Godspeed."

"Godspeed" involves putting Scriptures and sayings on balloons and distributing them to patients in hospitals and in nursing homes. The goals are to cheer people up, build their faith in God and encourage the medical professionals tending to them.

Monday, Koychev said all of the money will instead go to Nathan.

If you would like to help Koychev, send an email to If you would like to help the Saavedra family directly, you can make a donation to the Nathan Saavedra Kidney Fund at any BMO Harris Bank.

Summer ski fest: The Rotary Club of Cary-Grove is partnering with Norge Ski Club to host a Mid-Summer Family Fest, which is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 4 between the hours of 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the Norge Ski Club, which is in Fox River Grove at 100 Ski Hill Road.

The event will feature local musical talent. American English will kick off the event and perform from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Additional groups scheduled to perform at the event include Claire Kelly, The Forty-Fives and The Sage Band.

There's a lot of things for kids, too.

Activities for them include face painting, a bouncy house and temporary tattoos.

Food and beverages will also be available. Admission is $10 prior to the event and $15 at the door, but children 12 and younger are free.

For more information or pre-sale admission, call Gil Gulbrandson (847) 639-4140.

Dundee garage sale: The Dundee Township Historical Society is holding its annual garage sale that's scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11 and is still seeking donations.

If you have any household items, glass, china, small furniture, knickknacks, antiques, collectibles, art work, books, garden items or holiday items you'd like to donate to support the museum, please call Marge Edwards at (847) 609-3585.

You can also drop them off at the museum between 2 and 4 p.m. on Wednesdays or Sundays. Pickups can also be arranged.

Be sure to include your name and address along with your donation. Christmas items will be sold at the second annual "Dickens of a Sale" in December. No clothing, please.

Meanwhile, if you plan on buying items at the sale, you'll find books on all sorts of subjects, Victorian furniture, lit beer signs, posters, party decorations, vintage hats, dolls and a whole host of other items.

Lenore Adkins covers Carpentersville, Huntley, the Dundees, Hampshire, Sleepy Hollow, Cary and Fox River Grove. To reach her, call (847)_ 608-2725 or send an email to

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