Carries army Friends family help make Carrie Fest a success 2009: Combination Sunny

Carries army Friends family help make Carrie Fest a success

Even the combination of the sunny weather, a live band and the enormous buffet couldn't divert the attention of nearly 2,000 people who turned

out for a charity event for a fallen high school social worker. Carrie Hudek-Chiuso was on everyone's minds. More than a year after a gunman claimed the lives of Hudek-Chiuso and four other women at at Lane Bryant in Tinley Park, friends, family and complete strangers gathered Sunday at the grounds of CD&ampME banquet hall in Frankfort for the second annual Carrie Fest. Organizers erected mammoth white tents for the food and raffle portion and the evening concert by former Chicago frontman Peter Cetera to raise money for underprivileged youth. The event was CD&ampME's biggest ever charity event, organizers said. While guests enjoyed food and song, an army of more than 100 pink-clad volunteers were on hand to serve food and direct guests and also pass along memories of the trusted friend and surrogate big sister. Businesses throughout the Southland donated food as well as 90 percent of the items put up for raffle and silent auction. Prizes included sports memorabilia, an iPod and a sports motorcycle. The soul music group the Visions also donated their performances to the event.

"It's a testament to her and how many lives she touched," her husband, Tony, said.

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