Friends plan fundraiser for family of kidnapped businessman

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Friends of an Indiana businessman kidnapped in Iraq nearly three years ago will hold a fundraiser this weekend to help ease his family's financial struggles.

The event will be held Saturday in Jeff Ake's hometown of Downers Grove, Ill., by a childhood friend who was also Ake's college roommate. About 150 people have signed up so far for the fundraiser, pledging a donation of $50 each.

The 50-year-old Ake ran a company in Rolling Prairie, Ind., that made machines that filled and labeled water and other types of bottles. He was working in Baghdad as part of the Iraq reconstruction effort when he was kidnapped on April 11, 2005.

Aside from a video showing Ake being held at gunpoint, there's been no word on his fate.

Ake's wife, Lilly, and their four children currently live in LaPorte.

To RSVP for the fundraiser, click on the Big Red Bar.

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