The 2021 Raising Hope Awards

We were excited to bring back our Raising Hope Awards on September 23rd. It was a great evening honoring our fallen and recognizing all those who support the Club.

The Raising Hope Awards culminate all of our program efforts throughout the year, and this year allowed us to share what we have been doing during our statewide expansion.

We were also able to honor Joe Ahern with our Lifetime Achievement Award for all of his work during his decade long tenure at the Club. Thank you again Joe!

Read on for snippets of the evening from our speakers. You can also check out our throwback social media post for more photos from the evening.

Our first speaker of the night was Joey Mathews, son of Chicago Police Officer, John Mathews, who was killed on Saturday May 21, 1988, when Joey was just 4 years old.

“Before my 23-year-old mom even had time to think about how this would affect her future and that of her 3 kids, the 100 Club was already knocking at our door to provide much needed comfort and assistance. Unfortunately, I don’t have any memories of my dad, let alone the events that played out the morning after his death. What I know today, is that I wouldn’t be standing here right now if my family had not been taken in by the 100 club that morning and every day since. The 100 Club becomes an extension of your family. An unwanted extension, but an amazing one to have!”

Following Joey, we heard from Latrice Tucker, a 100 Club scholar, who lost her fiancée Clifton Lewis, Chicago Police Department, in the line of duty, December 29, 2011. Latrice reached out to the Club in hopes of attaining her master’s degree, since going back to school was a goal both her and Clifton had talked about. Without hesitation the 100 Club stepped in to help her financially achieve her dream. “If you think like I do, Education is a master key that can unlock unlimited doors of opportunity and being one of many 100 Club Scholars has allowed me the opportunity to not only unlock doors to enhance my career endeavors, it has also given me the opportunity to honor and pay tribute to my loved one who was my cheerleader and study buddy, but most importantly, the one who gave his life to protect the lives of others.”

The final 100 Club family speaker was Carla Ripley Marquez, daughter of Chicago Police Officer, Donald J. Marquez, killed in line of duty March 19, 2002. Carla talked about the response and compassion the Club had for her family when her dad was killed and the financial aid the Club gave her and her siblings to pursue their education. Carla is a licensed clinician, who feels blessed to have the opportunity to support others through therapy. She loves being able to give back to the community and the 100 Club with her involvement in our First Responder Wellness First Trainings.

With the Clubs expansion we now provide ongoing training opportunities to active duty first responders and departments with our Wellness First Trainings. During the night we heard from wellness partners Tom Howard and Dan Roach.

Tom Howard leads Illinois Firefighter Peer Support (ILFFPS) with a team of over 200 first responder trained peer supporters. Their mission of the organization is to provide a ​safe, non-judgmental, and confidential environment where members can engage in a healing conversation with a peer. During his speech he shared “It’s my hope and my prayer that we can continue to grow in awareness as well as to make it safe and to talk about the issues that we face together and be there for one another in times of struggle and need.”

Two years ago, Dan Roach and his wife Tammy co-founded a non-profit organization called the Cornerstone Retreat Center for First Responders and their families. They provide individual and group peer support services, spiritual direction, and resiliency training to First responders and their families, and we are presently developing a First Responders park and retreat center. Dan is a 31-yr veteran of law enforcement, who retired as a Captain from the Illinois State Police after 26 years of service and then worked for the Schaumburg Police Department for 5 years, where he served as the Deputy Chief.

Both Dan and his wife are a part of the 100 Club Advisory Council, along with over a dozen other statewide agencies involved in supporting first responders.  Dan spoke on behalf of the Club and the resources we provide, “I am happy to say that the 100 Club has taken an important leadership role in bringing our provider agencies together to discuss resources, issues, and opportunities that we all share in our service to this community. The 100 Club’s recent efforts at bringing us together and building a network have already been successful in breaking down these silos, allowing us a broader perspective on what is readily available to further support our officers, firefighters, and dispatchers. They have become a force-multiplier for all of us.”

We promise to continue to Raise Hope for our first responders and their families. Please join us and visit our donation page here.

It’s never too late to make a difference, your donation will make a direct and lasting impact on a hero’s family. You could change a life with one clickThank you for Raising Hope!