By Kelly White
Two community organizations in Chicago Ridge have benefited from the fundraising efforts of the union that represents the village’s police officers.
The Chicago Ridge Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 12 at the Village Board’s committee meeting on Sept. 18 presented $500 donations to both the Chicago Ridge Children’s Athletic Association and Chicago Ridge PTA. The donated funds included more than $600 raised at events over the past two years such as candlelight bowls, a golf outing, and hockey and bean bag tournaments.
“ Many people don’t know that the police department does a lot more than just write people tickets,” said Lodge 12 President Jim Davey. “We actually have our FOP run a fundraiser organization.
“ The FOP dug deep into our pockets, and we are going to give each organization $500.”
Chicago Ridge Children’s Athletic Association President Ron Dryier and Vice President Michael Kwartnik, and PTA President Tina Zamlynski accepted the donations.
Lodge 12 was formed Jan. 15, 1974 and at that time consisted of 20 active members of the Chicago Ridge Police Department. The current active membership of the lodge now stands at 28.
Fundraisers typically include a $20 entry fee, and the FOP secures sponsorships from local businesses that have included Tilted Kilt, Durbin’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, La Playita Mesxican reaturant, M & K Statuary, Cooper’s Hawk, Bobby McGees, Jack Desmonds, Allstars Sports Bar, Jenny’s Steak House, Maurice Moore Memorials and Curley Funeral Home.
This year marked the first time the lodge has held a bean bag tournament, and Davey said he was pleased with the turnout at the event.
“We have held candlelight bowls and golf outings in the past, but the bean bag tournament is a new fundraising event that we would like to continue to have in the future,” he said. “Everyone that came out really had a lot of fun at the event.”
Past beneficiaries of the Lodge’s fundraisers have included Southwest Ball Hockey, American Cancer Society, National MS Society, the Megan Hurkes Scholarship Fund, Special Olympics Polar Plunge, Concerns of Police Survivors, Chicago Police Department Memorial, Illinois Patriot Guard, Rally 4 Red, St. Baldricks, Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, the Special Olympics Torch Run, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police Fundraiser, Make a Wish Foundation, Disabled Patriots Fund, South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force, South Suburban Associations of Chiefs of Police Fundraiser and Miseracordia.