Paint The Town Blue Fundraiser Remembers Fallen, Injured CPD Officers

CHICAGO — It has been another week of heartbreak as the Chicago Police Department prepares to honor Officer Areanah Preston, 24, who was shot to death in front of her home after finishing her shift in the early morning hours of May 6.

The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation has partnered with nearly 100 local businesses to “Paint the Town Blue.” Money raised from the initiative will support the families of fallen and seriously injured Chicago police officers. The campaign kicked off Friday morning at the Original Pancake House Beverly in the police-heavy 19th Ward. The two-week campaign concludes May 21.

Participating businesses will be raising awareness of the Paint the Blue initiative. Patrons of those businesses may choose to purchase stars at blue ($1), silver ($5), or gold ($10) levels. The stars are then displayed at the business.

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Former Chicago Police Department superintendent Phil Cline, now executive director of the CPMF, said the “Paint the Blue” awareness campaign provided an opportunity for businesses and their patrons to express support for the hard work and sacrifice that the men and women of the Chicago Police Department make every day. He referenced Officer Preston who was to have received her law degree at Loyola University this weekend.

“This is a tough time, we’re grieving with the family and all these police officers,” Cline said. “They still have to go back on the street and do their jobs, that’s the tough part. The funds we raise from the stars we can use for helping families. It creates that interaction we’re looking for.”

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Julie Harrigan, whose family owns and runs the Original Pancake House, 10437 S. Western Ave., Chicago, said it was a matter of “doing the right thing.” The restaurant has been integral to the annual Get Behind The Vest Pancake Breakfast, which raises money to replace police officer’s bullet-resistant vests.

“In doing the right thing comes a lot of good. The good here is you showing up,” Harrigan said to a restaurant full of police officers and community members. “We are proud as business partners to walk in this journey with many of these families of fallen officers and embrace them. We are here to support them and will proudly sell these stars and encourage the community to do the same.”

Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th) said the second line-of-duty death of a Chicago police officer in as many months, is a personal loss to the 19th Ward, which counts one of the city’s highest populations for first responders.

“When a Chicago police officer is killed in the line of duty it affects all of us,” O’Shea said. “It doesn’t matter what community you go in, police officers are the backbone. Not only are they the ones we run to when we’re scared or in trouble or need help. They’re in the neighborhood. In the neighborhood, they’re the ones coaching baseball teams at the park and volunteering at the schools.”

More than 30 businesses from Beverly, Mount Greenwood and Morgan Park, as well as businesses in Oak Lawn and Justice are selling the stars, including:

AJ Uniform, 2758 W. 111th St.
Angie’s Pizza, 8357 S. Pulaski Road
Barracco’s, 3407 W. 111th St.
Beverly Hills Garage, 2043 W. 95th St.
Birdies Sports Bar and Grill, 4036 W. 111th St., Oak Lawn
Chicago Lock Box, 3400 W. 111th St.
Cork and Bean, 4931 W. 95th St., Oak Lawn
Cork and Kerry, 10614 S, Western Ave.
Express Med Spa, 3537 W. 111th St.
F45, 3246 W. 111th St.
Federales, 180 Morgan St.
Flippin Flavors, 1848 W. 95th St.
Franconello’s, 10222 S. Western St.
Gaelic Fire Brigade, 10627 S. Pulaski Road
Healy Real Estate, 3153 W. 111th St.
Hinky Dinks, 3243 W. 111th St.
Hippo’s 3011 W. 111th St.
Law Dog Security, 10359 S. Pulaski Road
Little You Inc., 1105 S. Millard Ave.
Lunette’s Family Eyecare & Optical Boutiques, 3402 W. 111th St.
McGowan Family Dental, 3250 W. 111th St.
McNally’s, 11136 S. Western Ave.
Mosaics Boutique & Tea, 10448 S. Kedzie Ave.
Mt. Greenwood Embroidery, 3136 111th St.
Original Pancake House, 10437 S. Western Ave.
Posh Pet, 3514 W. 111th St.
Reilly’s Daughter, 4010 W. 111th St., Oak Lawn
Schools Are Us, 3146 W. 111th St.
Shader’s Goods, 3145 W. 111th St.
State Farm/Chris Webber Agency, 3329 W. 115th St., Merrionette Park
The Plug, 15809 S. Central Ave., Oak Forest
The Plug, 7750 Archer Road, Justice
The Plug, 3652 W. 111th St.
The Village, 4025 S. Wallace
Top Notch Beefburgers, 2116 W. 95th St.
Twisted Shamrock, 6462 S. Central Ave.
You Glow Girl, 3205 W. 111th Ave.
JC’s Pub and Ristorante, 8650 Joliet Road, McCook

Visit CPMF for a full list of Paint the Town Blue locations.

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