Holmes teacher Trish Quane loved the outdoors. She was an avid cyclist and often rode to work. Quane, who was struck and killed by a train Aug. 23 during an early morning bike ride in Riverside, will be remembered in a memorial by her friends and colleagues at Holmes School.
Quane, 52, was a special education and language pathology instructor for most of her 16 years at Holmes. She had a particular interest in children with special needs. Quane’s friends are raising money to build a patio on Holmes’ current playground, with a specially designed picnic table and swing for special needs’ children and those in wheelchairs.
A group of about 10 Holmes teachers are selling memorial bricks in her honor at $100 each. “Bricks for Trish,” as it’s called, is the second fundraiser her friends have launched since her death.
“She was a real advocate for children with disabilities,” said Holmes teacher Sarah Bingaman. “She believed that children in wheelchairs should have the same resources as all children.”
The group is looking to raise $10,000 for the patio, landscaping, picnic table and swing. The four-sided table will have openings to accommodate children in wheelchairs. A special swing to secure children with disabilities will be added. Buyers can have the bricks?#34;4 by 8 inches each?#34;inscribed with a person’s name or a message to Quane, Bingaman said.
“Bricks for Trish” has just started, but the group has an architectural drawing of the patio and layout done by Scott McAdam, who owns a landscape firm that does work for District 97.
Soon after Quane’s death, teachers at Holmes begin thinking of a memorial. They decided to combine her two passions: the outdoors and special needs children. The group’s first fundraiser?#34;”Quarters for Quane”?#34;started after winter break, raising a total of $600?#34;all in quarters and mostly from students at Holmes.
The “Quarters for Quane” fundraiser will wrap up on Valentine’s Day. Bingaman said the school is thinking about having Holmes students schlep the jars of quarters to Oak Park Bank in a wheel barrel. Another teacher at Holmes is selling “Quilts for Quane,” said Bingaman.
They’d like to wrap up the brick fundraiser by May, in time for Quane’s second oldest daughter’s graduation from college. Quane’s youngest daughter is a senior at Oak Park and River Forest High School, also graduating in May. Her oldest daughter is a college graduate.
Her daughters all went to Lincoln Elementary. Quane, a single mother, lived in the Lincoln neighborhood.
Quane had helped reestablish the Oak Park Cycle Club in 1992. She had participated in an Oak Park cycling event just two days before her death. She was out for a ride in the early morning on Aug. 23 when she was killed.
Bingaman said anyone interested in both fundraisers can call Holmes school at 524-3098.
“It was devastating for all of us at the school,” recalled Bingaman. “We did a lot of dreaming [about her memorial] and we dreamed pretty big because we loved Trish. We wanted something to show how much she meant to us and how much she meant to the children.”