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Volunteer work may have saved worker's life
By Dan Culloton | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 8/4/2009 5:03 PM | Updated: 8/4/2009 9:39 PM

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Originally published Jan. 12, 1993

It may have been the first time Celso Morales was glad he spent his Friday evenings volunteering at the Little City Foundation in Palatine to meet a school requirement.

If the Palatine High School senior had not chosen to take part in a community service program called LIFE, Morales probably would be dead.

"He's a lucky student right now," said Palatine Principal Nancy Robb. "For him, this may have saved him."

On Friday evening, Morales, 17, worked at Little City, a Palatine agency for the mentally and developmentally disabled, instead of at Brown's Chicken & Pasta, where seven of his co-workers, including two classmates, were slain.

"I know I would have worked," said Morales, 17, reflecting on how close he came to being one of the victims.

Morales was working at Little City as part of Palatine-Schaumburg Township District 211's senior survey program, which requires all Palatine and Conant high school seniors to spend a semester performing community service or working on a research project.

Morales' job at Little City included office tasks, clean up and providing companionship for residents.