Mom of slain Des Plaines boy brings 'light from the darkness' with help from famous friends
Patricia Frontain still remembers the moment her grief over her 14-year-old son's slaying turned into something much more powerful.
It was about a year after a 22-year-old gang member shot Patrick Boswell during a January 2015 confrontation with the teen's friends along a Rosemont street. Patrick, an eighth-grader at Iroquois Community School in Des Plaines, died at the scene.
Sitting at work months later, things suddenly became clear for his mom.
"I've got to do something," she thought.
That led to the creation of "Patrick Lives On," which in the years since has produced more than a dozen anti-violence public service announcements and raised thousands of dollars to help at-risk kids, all through Frontain's dogged efforts and some assistance from her famous co-workers on a trio of hit NBC television series.
Frontain, a script supervisor on the series "Chicago PD," will again call on her colleagues from the show and its Chicago franchise partners -- "Chicago Med" and "Chicago Fire" -- for the foundation's fourth annual Variety Showcase & Fundraiser on Sept. 7.
"Everybody wants to help," Frontain said. "Our actors are wonderful people. There are no divas among them."
'Bringing good out of the evil'
It was one of the show's actors who helped get the ball rolling on Patrick Lives On and the variety show that supports it. After her epiphany, Frontain's first idea was to produce an anti-violence PSA. She asked a member of the show's cast to take part.
"He said 'Sure, but how are you going to pay for it?'"," she said. "My idea was, let's put on a variety show."
With proceeds from the show and other fundraising, Patrick Lives On has been able to assist hundreds of at-risk kids through scholarships, support for youth sports and cultural programs, financial backing to other non-for-profits and more. It's goal is to have helped 1,000 kids by the end of 2019.
For Frontain, it's an opportunity to make something meaningful out of Patrick's senseless death.
"I could have stayed in bed and cried -- I still could," she said. "But that doesn't help me, it doesn't help my son or my daughter, or my community. It doesn't help anyone.
"That's not bringing light from the darkness, bringing good out of the evil."
The fundraiser is set for Saturday, Sept. 7, at The Chop Shop, 2033 W. North Ave., in Chicago. NBC 5 anchor Rob Stafford and entertainment reporter LeAnn Trotter will serve as hosts, and cast members from the "Chicago" shows will sing, dance and perform improv. Food and beverages will be provided by Chicago staples, such as Gibsons Bar and Steakhouse, Lagunitas Brewing Company and Cooper's Hawk Winery.
VIP guests will get the chance to meet and take photos with the stars before the doors open at 8 p.m. for general admission, the variety show and a live auction.
Tickets are $100 for general admission and $300 for the VIP experience. They can be bought online at www.patrickliveson.org/special-events or at the door.
One more thing
Cesar Garay, the Rosemont man who shot Patrick, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in December 2016 and is serving a 28-year prison sentence.
Court: Red light is all right
Score one for red-light camera backers and the village of Lakemoor.
A federal appeals court this month upheld the dismissal of a class-action lawsuit that claimed the village's red-light camera program is unconstitutional.
Filed in March 2018, the lawsuit alleged, among other things, that the village denied plaintiffs due process by limiting the defenses they could use when contesting the $100 citation. Namely, they wanted to argue to a hearing officer that the automated tickets were invalid because they did not properly cite village code.
The appeals court unanimously rejected the argument.
"Preventing alleged violators from asserting this technicality as a defense does not present a risk of erroneous deprivation," the court said in the 11-page decision.
Lakemoor Village Administrator David Alarcon called the ruling "a huge victory" for village residents.
Trial for nurse looks likely
A former nurse at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital appears headed to trial next week on allegations he forwarded a patient's intimate photos to himself, after a DuPage County judge refused to dismiss the case this week.
Mark Luis, 35, of South Elgin, is charged with nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images and computer tampering stemming from events that police say occurred in November 2016 at the Winfield hospital.
The charges allege Luis removed the woman's phone from a nursing station and sent more than 60 images and six videos of her to his personal phone.
His attorney argued the case should be thrown out because sending images to himself shouldn't count as "dissemination." He also argued the relevant Illinois law -- nicknamed the "revenge porn" law -- unconstitutionally violates a person's First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expression.
That echoes arguments the Illinois Supreme Court is considering in the case of McHenry County resident Bethany Austin, who found nude images of another woman in the iCloud storage account she shared with her then-fiance. Authorities say that after the couple called off their wedding, Austin sent the images to friends and family along with a letter explaining the split.
In the DuPage County case, Judge Brian Telander said he found the defense arguments interesting, but they should be dealt with during a trial.
When it comes to first responders, whose cuisine reigns supreme?
Find out Saturday when the Vernon Hills Police Department takes on the Countryside Fire Protection District in Burger Cook-Off. It goes down from noon to 3 p.m. at Whole Foods Market, 851 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Vernon Hills.
You can try competing burgers for $5 each (served with a water and chips) then choose your favorite. All proceeds go to the respective departments' community outreach efforts.
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