Dear Friends, Brothers and Sisters:
As we enter the holiday season, we stop to remember the members of the Chicago Fire Department who are no longer with us. To us, they will always be heroes, but they were also fathers, mothers, spouses, children, and friends. They loved their families who in return loved them for the people they were both on and off duty. They will be especially missed at the Thanksgiving table today.
The Ende, Menzer, Walsh & Quinn Retiree's, Widow's and Children’s Assistance Fund is very grateful for the support of the community; our active members and our retired brothers and sisters. By supporting the EMWQ Fund, you have allowed us to honor these heroes by looking after who they cared about most -- their families.
In a few weeks we will send our annual gift checks to our widows and children. Because of your generosity, we were able to increase the annual gift provided to each of our beneficiaries this year for a total distribution of $760,000 to just over 600 widows and children. Thank you for making this possible. We hope to continue to increase this gift in the future and encourage you to take this opportunity to once again answer the call for our families.
As we remember what we are thankful for this season, please remember our heroes; especially Chicago's Bravest who are away from their families and on duty today.
Lt. Tony Martin
EMWQ Retiree's, Widow's and Children’s Assistance Fund
By Howard Ludwig
NEAR WEST SIDE — Old Style has donated $18,000 to the Ende, Menzer, Walsh and Quinn Retirees’, Widows’ and Children’s Assistance Fund.
The donation was raised through the beermaker's commemorative can campaign that began in September. In its second year, the fundraising effort was expanded to include 24-packs, 12-packs and 16-ounce cans.
“Old Style has a long and storied history with the city of Chicago,” said Dan McHugh, chief marketing officer for Old Style's parent company, Pabst Brewing Co.
The local charity benefiting from the cans provides financial assistance to the neediest widows and orphans of members of the Chicago Fire Department. The money will be used to pay for children’s educations, outstanding bills and help with day-to-day necessities.
The 22-year-old organization has donated more than $10 million dollars over the years. Its annual events include a charity softball tournament and chili cook-off.
The check presentation was held on Tuesday at Engine 18, 1360 S. Blue Island Ave. on the Near West Side.
“The commemorative can was a unique way for us to pay tribute to the hard-working men and women who keep Chicago safe and protected every day,” McHugh said.
By Mark Konkol
NORWOOD PARK — Each judge was warned Sunday: The Chicago Fire Department chili cook-off is serious business.
Actor David Eigenberg, the guy who plays “Herrmann” on NBC’s "Chicago Fire," seemed a little worried.
“If we slam someone’s chili and they take offense, do you have our backs?” he asked.
Chili Cook-Off organizer Steve Bezazian answered him with a shrug and silence.
And that made it perfectly clear that the panel of chili-tasting judges — Eigenberg and his "Chicago Fire" co-stars Joe Minoso (Joe Cruz) and Yuri Sardarov (Otis), Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza, Chicago Fire Department Deputy Chief Mark Neilson and I— would have to make tough decisions and live with the consequences.
So after tasting 21 chili recipes — a wide range of meats (brisket, venison, shredded pork, ground beef and sausage), plenty of beans (black, kidney and pinto) and fiery bits of habanero, serrano and jalapeno peppers — I ordered up a last taste of my top picks just to make sure I could live with my final decision.
And my second spoonful of chili No. 7 — delightfully sweet and smoky with a real kick — inspired me to throw in a few extra points in praise of that particular recipe’s color, aroma, consistency, taste and aftertaste.
And in the end, Ol’ No. 7 was the big winner … by a single point.
And get this, the victor, Ed McHale, isn’t even a firefighter.
“I’m a telecom manager,” the 51 year–old Jefferson Park man said. “I was at Ellengee Market, a place a lot of firefighters get their food, and I was there just after someone came in with a flier … so I entered.”
He credited the win to his secret ingredient — polish sausage.
“I get it at Andy’s Deli on Milwaukee. I grind it up, and that way it tastes like bacon and adds smokiness,” McHale said. “And I add tri-tip that I get from Ellengee.”
He blanches and purees tomatoes to give the chili color and adds a mix of habanero, serrano and jalapeno peppers for heat.
“Everything is fresh. Nothing from a can,” McHale said.
“I spend a lot of time on it, four or five hours, and make a bloody mess of the kitchen. My wife said I had extra good luck because I actually cleaned up the mess this time.”
McHale’s victory, however, was just the third best thing that happened to him in the last few days.
Last week, his neighborhood Catholic school, St. Cornelius, dodged a bullet when it wasn’t on the Archdiocese of Chicago's school-closing list.
And best of all, McHale’s wife, Dorothy, got word on Friday that that she is now free of ovarian cancer.
“Winning is a good feeling, but it’s really second best to hearing that she’s clear of cancer,” McHale said. “She went through all the treatment without ever complaining. It’s amazing. My wife, she’s my absolute hero.”
Dorothy McHale said that after a week of getting awesome news, her husband’s cook-off victory was like “cheese on top of great chili.”
Still, there was even more good news at Mo Dailey’s Pub and Grille in Norwood Park on Sunday.
By the end of the day, the Fire Department's chili-cook off raised more than $22,000 for the Ende, Menzer, Walsh and Quinn Retirees’ Widows’ and Childrens’ Assistant Fund, which gives financial assistance to the Fire Department’s neediest widows and orphans.
By Mark Konkol
CHICAGO — Apparently, “Mouch” wasn’t available to join his “Chicago Fire” TV co-stars “Otis,” “Herrmann” and “Joe Cruz” as celebrity judges at the real Chicago Fire Department’s annual Chili Cook-Off.
So, one of the guys organizing the shindig tapped the next best thing — me.
“Why would they pick you? Why not ‘Severide’? He’s so hot. Why would they pick you?” just about every girl I bragged to about my chili-judging status said.
Well, ladies, I can’t be sure.
Maybe pretty guys who play fictional firefighters on TV — like Taylor Kinney, for instance — have a no chili-contest judging clause in their NBC contract.
Or maybe it’s the season for one of those pre-holiday kale cleanses popular with so many celebrities. After all, the guy has to make sure his tailored firefighter outfit isn’t snug in the wrong places.
Real Chicago firefighter Kevin O’Grady knew none of those things would be an issue for a chili-lovin’ reporter like me.
“So, there’s this chili-thing …” O’Grady said before I interrupted.
“Yes. The answer is yes,” I said. “You had me at 'chili.' "
And there will be a lot of it.
More than 30 people have signed up to show off their chili-cooking best at Mo Dailey’s Pub and Grille, 6070 N. Northwest Hwy., on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 pm.
And it’s for a good cause.
The Northside Fire Brigade and Gaelic Fire Brigade teamed up to raise cash for the Ende, Menzer, Walsh and Quinn Retirees’, Widows’ and Childrens’ Assistance Fund, which gives financial assistance to the CFD’s neediest widows and orphans.
So, if you’re hungry to help a good cause, stop by Mo Dailey’s Sunday to help actors David Eigenberg (Herrmann), Joe Minoso (Joe Cruz), Yuri Sardarov (Otis) and me polish off a fire engine load of chili.
I just hope for Severide’s sake those guys aren’t filming in close quarters on Monday.
If you go: Tickets are $40 and include chili, barebecued meats, beer, wine and cocktails.
by Lewis Lazare
Reporter-Chicago Business Journal
Old Style, a brew that's been a part of Chicago beer culture for well over 100 years, is introducing a "Chicago Heroes" program this month that includes a new commemorative beer can to help the neediest widows and orphans of firemen from the Chicago Fire Department.
The commemorative 16-ounce Old Style cans, emblazoned with the image of a firefighter and information about the Ende, Menzer, Walsh and Quinn Retirees' Widows' and Childrens' Assistance Fund (a mouthful indeed), will begin appearing on store shelves this month and remain there at least through December.
Proceeds from the sale of every special can (up to $20,000) will go to the Assistance Fund. A 22-year-old organization, the Assistance Fund has provided more than $10 million over the years to firefighters and their families.
Noted Pabst Brewing Chief Marketing Officer Dan McHugh: "It's important for our community and country to reflect on the everyday heroes who support us day after day, risking their lives to help keep us safe."
Old Style beer first appeared on store shelves in Chicago in 1902. The beer was quickly embraced by the city and its beer drinkers. In fact, Old Style has used the slogan "Chicago Style Is Old Style" to emphasize its close bond with the city.
by Caroline Connors
Long known as “Chicago’s beer since 1902,” Old Style has launched a new campaign that pays homage to one of the city’s most renowned institutions.
Beginning this month, Old Style is honoring the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) with a commemorative 16-ounce can emblazoned with an image of a firefighter and the tools of the trade.
In addition, sales of the commemorative cans will benefit the Ende, Menzer, Walsh and Quinn (EMWQ) Retirees’, Widows’ and Children’s Assistance Fund, a non-profit organization that supports the families of firefighters who have died in the line of duty.
The “Chicago’s Heroes” campaign is an innovative program running through the end of December 2014, according to Andy Gurjian and Brandon Carr, director of regional brands and associate brand manager, respectively, for Pabst Brewing Company. The campaign was established to “put our flag in the city” that has generously supported Old Style during its history, Carr said, while saluting some of its most recognizable members.
“Chicago is very much about its first responders,” Carr said. “But instead of just coming out with a commemorative can showcasing the fire department, we wanted to take it to the next level and do something meaningful.”
A 501c3 organization with a five-member volunteer board, the EMWQ Assistance Fund has been helping the families and children of fallen firefighters for the past 22 years, according to board President Anthony Martin, a lieutenant on the CFD and Mt. Greenwood resident.
During that time, Martin said, the EMWQ Assistance Fund has donated more than $10 million to the neediest families, including those widows, many without Social Security, who receive a pension of $1,000 to $1,500 a month.
“These are widows who are living on less than $12,000 a year,” Martin said. “My mother, grandmother and great-grandmother were all widowed, so this is a cause near and dear to my heart.”
In addition to providing widows and orphaned children with an annual gift, the organization provides immediate financial assistance to the children of active members who die, regardless of whether their death was in the line of duty or off duty.
Through the generosity of the community, an annual charity softball tournament and a number of corporate sponsors, the EMWQ Assistance Fund has grown each year to help the CFD families and children most in need, Martin said.
“It allows them to live out the rest of their lives in dignity,” he said, “and gives kids a shot at some of the opportunities they would not have otherwise had.”
Martin said he has been in contact with the leaders of the “Chicago’s Heroes” campaign for the past three or four months and is thrilled with the outcome of the design.
“There is a lot of civic pride on that can; it is definitely a celebration of the fire department, not the fire department promoting a beer,” he said. “I think it really demonstrates how well Old Style did its homework.”
Created by K.C. Blinn, creative director for Pabst, the design on the commemorative can replaces the iconic Old Style shield with the CFD Maltese cross positioned above an image of the Chicago skyline and a firefighter in turnout gear. The color scheme was also changed to red and black to represent the CFD and other Chicago institutions like the Hawks and Bulls.
In addition, Gurjian said, the backside of the can includes a three-paragraph message about the campaign’s beneficiary.
“We really wanted to let that be the focal point,” he said. “Of course, we want to sell beer, but it’s more about giving back to the city. The fund is a smaller organization, but it’s made up of people with big hearts who are so passionate in what they do.”
According to Gurjian and Carr, response to the program so far has been “phenomenal,” and brand managers are looking forward to the campaign’s official kick-off at the CFD’s 5th District softball tournament on Saturday, Aug. 16, at St. Christina Fields, 111th Street and Central Park Avenue.
The campaign will conclude at the end of December, Carr said, but officials from Old Style said they plan to continue the relationship with the organization in some way.
“This has never really been done before; it’s exciting to be the pioneers,” Carr said. “This couldn’t be a better marriage, and we’re looking forward to a long and happy relationship.”
The Ende, Menzer, Walsh & Quinn Retiree's, Widow's and Children’s Assistance Fund has received the GuideStar Exchange Gold Participation Level, a leading symbol of nonprofit transparency and accountability from GuideStar USA, the premier online source of nonprofit information. The EMWQ Retiree's, Widow's and Children’s Assistance Fund prides itself on its accountability to our donors and those we are entrusted to serve. And now we are proud to be recognized for this stewardship and level of transparency by this premier organization.
Less than 1 percent of the nation’s 1.8 million IRS-recognized nonprofit organizations are GuideStar Gold participants, according to Goldstar.
The GuideStar Exchange Gold Participation Level demonstrates a nonprofit’s commitment to transparency and accountability. The designation means that the EMWQ Retiree's, Widow's and Children’s Assistance Fund, through its membership in the GuideStar Exchange, has completed GuideStar’s thorough and exhaustive process of information sharing – including financial data and impact reporting – and subsequently agreed to make this information available through GuideStar’s easy-to-navigate user interface.
About the GuideStar Exchange
The GuideStar Exchange is an initiative designed to connect nonprofits with current and potential supporters. With millions of people coming to GuideStar to learn more about nonprofit organizations, the GuideStar Exchange allows nonprofits to share a wealth of up-to-date information with GuideStar’s many audiences. Becoming a GuideStar Exchange participant is free of charge. To join, organizations need to update their report pages, completing all required fields for participation. The GuideStar Exchange level logos, acknowledged as symbols of transparency in the nonprofit sector, are displayed on all Exchange participants’ nonprofit reports.
More than 1,500 support police and firefighter charities during Blackhawk Alumni & Friends Charity Softball Classic at SXU
Rick Ducat / September 12, 2013
More than 1,500 people helped support Chicago police and firefighter charities at the Sixth Annual Blackhawk Alumni & Friends Charity Softball Classic on Sept. 8 at Saint Xavier University’s Chicago campus.
The event included Chicago Blackhawks current players, prospects, and alumni “facing-off” in a 16″ softball game with members of the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and Chicago Fire Departments (CFD), as well as the annual CFD vs. CPD City-Wide 16” Softball Championship.
Attendees met Blackhawks members and enjoyed food, non-alcoholic beverages, an inflatable play-area and games for children, raffles, and autographs from players. A special raffle was held for three lucky winners to take a picture with the Stanley Cup during Season Ticket Holder days in October. Blackhawks signed autographs and took pictures with fans, and a variety of antique fire and police equipment was displayed.
The event benefited the Chicago Firefighters’ EMWQ Retirees’, Widows’ and Children’s Assistance Fund and the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation and related police and fire charities.