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Community Says Goodbye to Eric Lederman

Hundreds of people filed into Dieterle Memorial Home in Montgomery to pay their respects to 12-year-old Eric Lederman, who died after a baseball accident last week. Culver's in Oswego will hold a fundraiser for the family on April 26.

If the family of Eric Lederman had any doubts that their son touched innumerable lives in his 12 short years on earth, the last two days would have dispelled them.

Hundreds of people came to Dieterle Memorial Home in Montgomery on Wednesday and Thursday to comfort the family, and say goodbye to Eric, who died last week from injuries suffered in a baseball accident in Wheaton.

Lederman was a catcher for the Oswego Panthers Orange 12U baseball team, and while warming up before a game in Atten Park in Wheaton last Wednesday, was struck in the neck with a ball. He was taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where he died last Thursday night.

It’s a senseless tragedy that has left the community shaken, and that community turned out in force for Lederman’s wake on Wednesday and funeral Thursday morning. Dieterle had three rooms open for Thursday’s funeral, and all were packed full.

Oswego School District 308 arranged shuttle services to and from the funeral home, and the village of Montgomery and the Montgomery VFW offered additional parking.

Community members will have a chance to show their support for the Lederman family on Thursday, April 26, when of Oswego hosts a fundraiser. Ten percent of the day’s profits will be donated to the Lederman family.

Craig Culver, who help found the restaurant chain in 1984 with his father, will appear at the location in the late afternoon to show his support. Jon Witcpalek, franchise partner of the Oswego location, said he talked to Culver earlier this week about the fundraiser, and he jumped at the chance to take part.

“Craig’s whole philosophy is you do what’s right for the community,” Witcpalek said. “I told him how this had just devastate the community, and he said ‘John, I’m there.’ That’s the type of person he is.”

In all Witcpalek’s location gives back about $20,000 back to the community each year.

Additionally, the Oswego Baseball and Softball Association, in conjunction with Oswego Youth Tackle Football, has set up a memorial fund. Monetary donations can be made to the fund at Allied First Bank, 3201 Orchard Road, Oswego, IL 60543. Make donations payable to "Eric Lederman Memorial Fund."

For more on Eric Lederman, read . For a moving account of the Oswego Panthers’ first game without him, read this blog post by Tony Pronenko.

Richard Saunders April 20, 2012 at 01:00 PM
I know where I'll be getting my dinner from on Thursday. Thanks to Culver's for once again showing their commitment to the community.
mom23 April 20, 2012 at 03:07 PM
I know it will be packed, as it always is for the fundraisers for families in the community. I have to say, I imagine that if it were just a regular night and Culver's was as packed and as busy as they are these fundraiser nights, I bet alot of people would not even bother goin in or wait in the long drive thru line and then waiting even longer for their food. They would say forget it and go somewhere else. But on these fundraiser nights people come and wait and they wait with patience. and it's the one time that the "wait" and the crowd doesn't matter, it's why we are all there that matters. I am so glad to be in a school district & a community that shows such compassion and really seems to care. I also am so happy and impressed with Culver's. They always are willing to help out and give back. This is one business that I hope sticks around our community for many, many, years to come, Thanks Culver's. Just one more thing... PLEASE bring back the ham n swiss and turkey BLT sandwiches in Oswego. So many of us miss those.
Laura Harrison April 20, 2012 at 06:34 PM
My Son Brandon decided the day of the Eric's wake not to attend the wake because he knew it would be too hard on him. I know this is just the thing Brandon will attend to honor the memory of his classmate.
Dawn Aagesen April 20, 2012 at 07:07 PM
A few local businesses in the Oswego Chamber would also like to extend the Culvers fundraiser for the Lederman family. Savvy Fashions and More-behind Culvers and next door is Cupcakes 2 Remember will be staying open late-at least 8pm, and donating part of our profits to the family. Joining us at Savvy Fashions and More will be Mary Kay Cosmetics, Miche hand bags, Premier Designs Jewelry, and Tastefully Simple who will all be donating funds to the family on all purchases made that day-10am on. Call Dawn or Nancy at 630-554-8445 for further info.
Eva Sierra&family April 21, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Such a tragedy! My prayers for all families and friends.

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