With so much attention on what’s happened in Boston this week, an event for first responders families has special meaning.
The 100 Club of Chicago, an Chicago organization that gives support to families of fire, police and emergency medical personnel who’ve died in the line of duty, is now partnering with 11 Chicago area universities to extend that support.
"I think the incident in Boston reminds all of us of the sacrifice and selflessness of first responders," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Already, $2 million has been raised for college scholarships.
LeVar Merrell said the 100 Club has been a great help to him and his family in the 13 years since his father, Lt. L.C. Merrell, was killed in a crash on his way to battle a fire. With the 100 Club's help, the younger Merrell has received financial assistance for graduate school at DePaul University.
"You need those type of people around," he said of the civic organization.
As well, Peg Flisk will soon be the first 100 Club law school scholar. She graduates from DePaul University on Father’s Day and plans to attend John Marshall Law School.
Her father, a Chicago police officer, was shot and killed more than two years ago while investigating a crime scene. Peg Flisk said that if her father were alive, he'd be at her graduation, showing up on a Harley wearing jeans.
"He was a cop's cop," she said. "He would have been thrilled that I was taking the law profession in this world. He always strived for me to have the best education."
Aside from DePaul and Marshall, other universities now involved in the 100 Club include Dominican, Illinois Institute of Technology, Lewis, Loras, Loyola, Northwestern, St. Xavier, Roosevelt, and the University of Chicago.