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QC Family Donates To Make-A-Wish In Wife, Mother’s Memory

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A family is raising money for Make-A-Wish Illinois and keeping the memory of a beloved family member alive.

The Gretchen Kruse Memorial Golf Outing was held in June of 2014 at the Byron Hills Golf Course in honor of the 30-year-old wife and mother who passed away unexpectedly in April of 2012.

The Port Byron family wanted to share her extraordinary spirit by bringing joy to others, so they organized the golf outing. The outing raised $5,000 for Make-A-Wish Illinois.

Make-A-Wish Illinois allows children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich their lives. The local chapter has granted more than 12,000 wishes since its foundation in 1985.

On Saturday, July 5, 2014 the family presented the check at Gretchen’s parents’ home in East Moline, where there is a tree planted in Gretchen’s memory.

“Although Gretchen may have been small in stature, she made up for it with great determination, a gigantic heart of gold, and a voice that was meant to be heard,” said Gretchen’s cousin, Shaun Hessler. “She was never afraid to say what was on her mind at any given time, but could bring joy to an entire crowd with a simple remark. She was a great friend, daughter, mother, sister, wife, co-worker, cousin, and friend.”

Family members say they decided to donate to Make-A-Wish Illinois because they say the organization reminds them of Gretchen.

"She loves to see kids smile," said Gretchen's brother, Adrian DeVrieze. "This is right up her alley. She would be happy to do something like this and I know she is."

"She was full of life," said Julie Utz with Make-A-Wish Illinois. " She was always ready to help somebody. She was a small person, but she had a loud voice."

The family also donated a check to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in 2013. To see that story, click here.