Oak Brook man donates $50,000 for heroin fight
After losing his 18-year-old grandson to a heroin overdose in March, Edward Heil wanted to do something to prevent others from being killed by the drug.
On Thursday, the Oak Brook man donated $50,000 to the DuPage Narcan Program, which trains police officers on how to administer the opiate overdose reversal drug Narcan.
"The first thing that comes in your mind is you become very angry that these drugs are being imported into our county -- and that these children are dying," Heil said after a news conference in Wheaton. "The best thing I can think of is trying to help other people."
As part of the Narcan program, the DuPage County Health Department has spent about $50,000 to purchase doses of the lifesaving drug for local police departments. Heil's donation will help sustain the program and launch a fundraising drive.
He's hoping his donation will inspire others to donate money to the effort.
"He would like me to ask families, community organizations, foundations, other levels of government throughout our region to join us in this fight," DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin said. "Together, we can equip our police and help them save lives and give families a second chance."
Heil, who is an investor in the real estate industry, said he first learned about the Narcan program from Cronin.
"I feel that it's very important," Heil said. "I'm glad to help, and I hope more people come along and help."
County officials said Heil is the former owner of E & E Hauling, Inc. and American Environmental Construction Co. E & E operated the shuttered Mallard Lake landfill, near Hanover Park, before it was closed. On Thursday, Cronin said lives will be saved as a result of Heil's donation.
"He told me that he's built a lot of roads in the county," Cronin said. "He's done a lot of things. But nothing, nothing is more important to him than helping our young people."