Friends support Hinsdale homicide victim’s children – Chicago Tribune
The friends and family of Hinsdale mother and actress Andrea Urban who were shocked by her brutal killing are helping the children she loved.
A Go Fund Me account has been set up online and raised more than $48,000 in three weeks.
The Andrea Urban Memorial Education Fund also has been established at the Hinsdale Bank & Trust. Money donated to the fund will solely benefit Urban’s two children and be held in a trust for them.
Urban’s daughter, Daria, will be a sixth-grader at Hinsdale Middle School next year, Urban’s friends said. Her son, Sasha, graduated from Hinsdale Central High school in May.
“We are very happy we live in such a generous community,” said Eugene Urban, Andrea’s father. “Everyone has been very supportive and very generous. It goes a long way to help us cope with our grief.”
Andrea Urban, 51, was killed in her home May 4. Dominic J. Sanders, 30, who is accused of stabbing and beating her, has been charged with first-degree murder.
Tom Schroder, a fellow Hinsdale Central 1984 graduate of Urban’s, started the Go Fund Me page to benefit her children. He noted on the page that Urban had been fighting a 13-year mental and physical battle with chronic myeloid leukemia.
“She used her good days to work as an actress, trying to make ends meet and spend time with her children, always assuring they had a loving home,” Schroder wrote.
Schroder kept in touch with her at high school reunions and other gatherings of alumni. After her death, Schroder said he asked her younger brother about fundraising efforts for Urban’s two children.
Schroder learned about the education trust fund set up at Hinsdale Bank, which had about $10,000 in it, he said. But he believed they should reach out through social media, too.
The Go Fund Me website deducts administrative fees from the donations, but that forum will reach a hundred times more viewers than a traditional bank account, Schroder said. Plus, it allows people to write a message with their donation. Contributions made via the website will be transferred to the memorial trust fund.
The donors come from all parts of Urban’s life: high school and college friends, her Hinsdale neighbors, friends from Hinsdale Covenant Church, friends from her time living in New York, people who knew her through her work as an actress and those who knew her as an advocate for alternative treatments for cancer pain.
Friends also have been grocery shopping and preparing meals for Urban’s family. Such kindness and support does not surprise Schroder.
“The thing that surprises all of us is that this happened at all,” he said. “I can’t imagine this ever happening in Hinsdale.”
“Andrea was so gentle and loving,” Schroder said. “She was so well-liked. That’s why there is the response there is.”
The money raised will enable Sasha to attend Pace University in New York as he planned, Eugene Urban said.
“Both kids are extremely mature, way more mature than their years,” Schroder said.
At Urban’s funeral, her son Sasha read a poem he had written about a boy who was going through troubled times and the angel who calmed the storm for him, Schroder said. Sasha said the angel had to leave to get her wings. Those in the church were moved to tears, knowing he was talking about his mother, Schroder said.
Urban’s daughter, too, spoke at her funeral, Schroder said. He believes because of their mother’s battle with leukemia, “these kids had to grow up a lot sooner than other kids their age.”
To help with the expenses they will face as they grow up, Schroder hopes to raise even more. He is planning a benefit concert for the fall.
“We have two bands lines up. We are trying to figure out the venue,” he said.
The support for Urban’s children as they move forward from this tragedy is not going to stop, Schroder said.
People wishing to donate to the Andrea Urban Memorial Education Fund, can write a check and mail it to Hinsdale Bank & Trust Company, 25 E. First St., Hinsdale IL 60521, or go to www.gofundme.com/andrea-urban-benefitting-her-kids and follow the directions there.