CHICAGO — Supporters of John Arguello, a longtime Cubs writer who died after battling cancer, have raised more than $3,000 for charity in his honor.
Arguello, the founder of the popular Cubs Den site, died last week after a battle with cancer and pneumonia. Arguello had developed a dedicated following since starting his site in 2011, and it's those fans and friends who are now trying to raise $5,000 on GoFundMe.
The money will be donated to Never Quit (also known as NVRQT), a charity created by Cubs pitcher Jon Lester to raise money for pediatric cancer research. Arugello was "very, very passionate" about that organization, said Myles Phelps, a friend of Arguello's and a writer for Cubs Den.
"Jon Lester is a huge part of the Cubs' organization. ... Knowing Jon Lester's story and getting cancer himself when he was a major league pitcher, and then being able to fight through it ... I think John [Arguello] was really supportive of kind of what they meant and of the mission as a whole," Pheps said.
Phelps' campaign has already raised more than $3,000 in just two days and he hopes to meet the $5,000 goal by Friday, when a memorial for Arguello will be held in Chicago.
"It's so awesome. People are giving anywhere between $2 to $125," Phelps said. "It's just good that people are showing their support with whatever they can give.
"It's been just really, really overwhelming to see the support that we've gotten thus far, and hopefully we can try to hit out goal."
Arguello was a well-known Cubs writer who had tens of thousands of followers (including celebrities) on social media, Phelps said, but he was also an incredibly kind person who was "generous" when helping new writers find their footing in Wrigleyville.
Arguello chose Phelps to work on the Cubs Den and helped put him in contact with people for stories, Phelps said. They developed a friendship that lasted even after Phelps moved to Seattle, with the two talking and working on a podcast together.
"If you could describe John with two words: baseball and kindness," Phelps said. "I think people kind of know about the baseball side just because of his public persona ... . People don't always see the compassion and the kindness that he had on the back end. He was a pillar in kind of the Cubs community.
"He was like the kindest person ever."
Phelps and others will continue running the Cubs Den in Arguello's honor.
And Phelps said the GoFundMe campaign will continue for several days to try to meet its $5,000 goal even if it's not able to raise that amount of money in time for Arguello's memorial Friday.