Sticker Shop to Donate to CFD, Hopes to End Controversy

Union boss goes on record, takes aim at decal manufacturer

The co-owner of a North Carolina-based graphics company maintained Friday that he never intended to offend anyone with a commemorative decal honoring two fallen Chicago firefighters and said he would be dropping a donation check in the mail.
The development comes as the President of Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2 went on the record and took aim at the company, Phoenix Graphics Online.

"If they really wanted to get a hold of us, they could have," said Tom Ryan. 

The shop started selling the four-inch memorial decal without the blessing of the Chicago Fire Department less than a day after the deaths of Chicago firefighters Corey Ankum and Edward Stringer. Dozens of firefighters sent e-mails to the company after the sticker went on sale and criticized it for trying to profit from tragedy. 

"You don't like to see opportunistic things like this, if that is indeed the case," said Ryan.

The company said it was all just a big misunderstanding and characterized the messages it received as "harassing" and "malicious."  It stopped selling the decal after only a few days.

Tommy Christenbury told NBC Chicago earlier this week that he planned to donate 75 percent of all profits from the stickers to the families of the fallen firefighters.

However, the e-mail he claims he sent to the Chicago Fire Department asking for its blessing never reached anyone at the CFD because he directed it to the webmaster of, a private organization of Chicago Fire Department boosters. The department's personnel uses email addresses ending with

"If he wanted to make a donation it would be easy to do," said Ryan.  "If you simply Google the Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2, it will go right to our front page, which has a picture of the fallen firefighters on the front and a link telling you how you can donate." 

Ryan said if people want to donate money to the families of Edward Stringer or Corey Ankum, they can do so through the Gold Badge Society of Chicago, at, or via the official website of Chicago Firefighters Local 2, at

"We appreciate the outpouring of sympathy and well wishes from the citizens of Chicago and from fire departments nationwide," said Ryan. "The support has been astounding."

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