As the one-year anniversary of the death of Joey Frase approaches, the Grayslake man's family is working to educate people—especially youths—about the importance of dressing properly in the winter weather.
Frase was just 20 years old when he went missing from a party in Round Lake and was later found dead near Campbell Airport a couple of days later, on Jan. 22, 2013.
Frase's cause of death was ruled as hypothermia, with Frase found wearing just a hoodie and not a winter coat.
"Joey was like my little brother," said Carolee Jacks, Frase's cousin. "We've all just been kind of going day by day. Every day, we feel the loss of him."
Jacks also finds herself noticing so many people—particularly teenagers—who don't dress appropriately for the cold temperatures. Jacks said she has seen teenagers wearing shorts and no winter coats.
"They think they're invincible," said Jacks.
She and other members of Frase's family started the
LIVE love JOEY Facebook page "to spread the word on WINTER AWARENESS," according to the site. The site received more than 1,000 "likes" within days of its launch, Jacks said, exceeding the goal of receiving 1,000 "likes" by Frase's birthday, Dec. 11.
Jacks said after Frase died, she was contacted by a woman from another state whose son, Joey, died in a similar way to Frase.
"If we can reach even one person who tells their kid, 'You can't go out like that,' then we've done our job," Jacks said of educating people. "We want (Frase) to be remembered in a positive way."
The family is also holding a winter clothing drive in Frase's memory. Winter clothing will be collected and donated to a local church, Jacks said. The donation box is located at Living Waters Assembly of God, 525 N. Atkinson Road, Grayslake.
Some of Frase's friends have offered to drive around and pick up the winter clothing from donors. For more information on how to donate, visit the
LIVE love JOEY Facebook page to contact the donation drive organizers.
People can also donate winter clothing to an organization of their choice and simply say that they are doing so in memory of Joey Frase, Jacks said.
"We wanted to keep it simple," said Jacks. "It's not going to bring Joey back, but he would definitely be happy that we're trying to do something positive with his loss."