Fundraiser tonight for woman's Avalon Village neighborhood project

A Highland Park woman is fighting to keep her community from falling to ruins. Her efforts are paying off, but she still needs help to keep her dream alive.

When Shamayim Harris's son was killed, she took a cold, hard look at her city. She saw no streetlights, no parks, no libraries -- she saw no place to be a child.

She bought a rundown house on Avalon Street, and then the lot next door and made a park. She erected a solar street lamp. She mowed and cleared the lots on Avalon Street. She got abandoned houses torn down. Soon, the children came to camp overnight. Musicians came to play. And her dream began to grow.

Come September, the house, thanks to a $100k grant from The Big Sun Foundation, will be a clean, safe homework house for the children of homework house.

Shamayim has a vision to turn the whole neighborhood into a 21st-century sustainable eco-village, but she needs help achieving that goal.

You can help in a couple of ways. You can make an online donation to her kickstarter campaign, here. Or you can attend a fundraiser tonight, Tuesday, June 21, at American Coney Island from 6-8 p.m.

A $20 donation at the door gets you your coney dinner, one free drink from the cash bar and a raffle ticket for a chance to win a weekend getaway to Las Vegas.

You can learn more about Shamayim and her Avalon Village project at