Dad reflects on final Dream for Eileen 5K run
Patrick Lupton, who lost his daughter Eileen during the Chicago porch collapse in 2003, says this year's Dream for Eileen 5K run on Saturday, Nov. 24, will be the last in Lake Forest. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
AVOCATION: President of the Dream for Eileen Foundation
WORDS TO LIVE BY: “She wasn’t just my daughter. She was the town’s daughter…”
Updated: December 16, 2012 6:05AM
LAKE FOREST — Keeping his daughter’s spirit alive has been a mission for Patrick Lupton.
A victim of a porch collapse in Chicago that killed 13 young people in June of 2003, his daughter Eileen is remembered through the Dream for Eileen Foundation. A graduate of Villanova Nursing School, Eileen Lupton was about to begin her career at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago when the tragedy occurred.
For the last 10 years, money from the foundation has been awarded to a Villa Nova nursing student — $15,000 a year – toward their nursing degree. A 5K run held the Saturday after Thanksgiving for the last 10 years raises money for the scholarship. This year, the run will be held at 10:30 a.m., Nov. 24, at Forest Park, Deerpath and Lake Road, in Lake Forest, with a $25 fee. More information can be found at www.eileenlupton.com.
It will be the last 5K run held to benefit the foundation, with Lupton saying: “Emotionally and everything, it’s probably time to wrap it up.’’
The foundation, he said, will remain intact with funds still going to nursing school scholarships.
Q. What inspired you to start the foundation?
A. Eileen was 22 years old and had just graduated from Villa Nova with a master’s degree in nursing. Two weeks later, the world changed. She was going to start work at Children’s Memorial Hospital. The faculty at Villa Nova agreed that Eileen is the person they would want to take care of their parents’ nursing care. We wanted something significant – to carry on her spirit.
Q. What is your greatest achievement with the foundation?
A. The miracle of it all is that a young lady becomes a nurse. Eileen’s spirit is out there.
Q. Why did you choose Thanksgiving weekend to hold the 5K?
A. Eileen was a very popular young lady. She was very much loved. It seemed natural to have it right after Thanksgiving Day.
Q. What do you like about living in Lake Forest?
A. I’ve lived in Lake Forest for 35 years. Because of the community, we’ve been able to raise some significant money. The town has been unbelievably supportive. It was from day one until today. She wasn’t just my daughter. She was the town’s daughter, so to speak.