Members of the Forest Park Fire Department unveiled a $4,500 check for Gilda’s Club of Chicago on Dec. 3, after selling 451 T-shirts inscribed with their logo during the month of October, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.   

“People just love firemen; the community really turned out for the cause,” said firefighter Kevin Hendrick, who noted that this is the first time firefighters have supported Gilda’s Club, a Chicago-based nonprofit that provides support to those impacted by cancer, as well as their families and friends. Hendrick said firefighters chose Gilda’s Club because a majority of funds raised for the nonprofit directly benefit those affected — and not the organization’s administrative or operations costs. He said Gilda’s Club also goes beyond Chicago’s borders, and supports Chicago-area hospitals. 

“It’s a one-stop shop for helping people beat cancer medically, but also mentally, and to help families just get through the entire process,” he said. “With cancer as widespread as it is, everybody knows somebody who’s dealing with it.” 

Firefighter B.J. Reid said the group raised about $4,100 for the cause, and the local firefighters union kicked in the rest.

“We’ve really helped this community in a ton of ways and I’m totally proud of our contribution,” Reid said.

Nona Tepper