Five weeks ago, Bruce Thompson feared the Deicke Home for adults with disabilities would be forced to close at the end of this month.
Now, after an outpouring of community support, the Lombard home is expected to remain open until at least the end of July.
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"I'm cautiously optimistic about the future," said Thompson, the home's executive director, on Tuesday. "(The fundraising) has really been better than I expected it to be."
Sixteen high-functioning residents ages 25 to 71 live at the home, which opened in 1983. Guardians pay $375 a month for each resident.
In addition, the home receives money from the residents' Social Security plans and a federal subsidy, but nothing from the state. Remaining revenue must come from fundraising, grants and donations -- sources that have diminished greatly over the past few years, Thompson said.
About five years ago the home had to dip into its reserves, which were once in the upper six figures. Now there is enough in reserve to cover costs for only two or three months.
Since the announcement the home may be forced to close went public, officials have raised more than $20,700 at www.gofundme.com/savedeickehome.
Last week, Gianorio's Pizza donated 10 percent of sales from Wednesday and Thursday night to the home, which amounted to about $1,000, Thompson said.
"In fact, it was so popular, if you called you were told it was a two-hour wait," he said. The restaurant originally planned to offer the promotion only on Wednesday.
Students at St. Pius X Parish School in Lombard also raised more than $1,600 for the home when they brought in at least $2 each to take part in a "dress down" day last Thursday, officials said. Many of the students sported yellow and blue clothes instead of their uniforms in support of people with Down syndrome.
"We have a very healthy relationship with them," Thompson said, adding that the students have been coming to the home for many years to do service work.
In addition, Thompson recently met with two aides from U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth's office, who told him she was informed of the home's financial trouble after reading a Daily Herald story. They said Duckworth is willing to write letters of support for grant applications and possibly attend a future fundraising event.
This Saturday, Thompson is hoping more than 200 people will attend a fundraiser for the home at the Villa Park VFW, 39 W. St. Charles Road. The event begins at 6 p.m. and costs $25, which includes a buffet dinner, live music, dancing and a raffle.
Two other businesses in the village -- Chick-fil-A and Outback Steakhouse -- have agreed to donate a percentage of their sales to the home next month, too.
Thompson said Outback will donate 20 percent of sales between 4 and 10 p.m. Tuesday, April 1. He said the times and donation amount for the Chick-fil-A event are still undetermined, but the date is set for Thursday, April 17.
Families, volunteers and staff members at the home also are starting to plan another fundraiser on May 30 at Abbington Distinctive Banquets in Glen Ellyn that will include dinner and a live auction.
While the outpouring of support has been tremendous, Thompson said the home still needs a philanthropist who could donate a substantial amount of money to keep the facility running for the long term. He said the home also is looking for support from multiple corporate sponsors who could commit to funding the home for one month annually.
"That's the ultimate goal," he said.