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CHICAGO — Pancakes were on the menu Sunday morning, cooked up with heart and served with purpose in an effort to raise funds for a necessary item for Chicago police officers.

It’s the fourth year that the 23rd Ward has come together for the pancake breakfast, raising money for the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. The proceeds are used for the “Get Behind the Vest” program, buying replacement vests for CPD officers.

While new CPD officers get a vest when they start with CPD, the officers are expected to replace them every five years out of their own pockets. The vests cost approximately $500.00.

“I’m so proud to see the community come together because this is how we can say thank you to our police officers,” 23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabarez said.

Last year, the pancake event raised $10,000, with this year’s event raising even more.

“Without this, it would make it a lot harder for our officers to get that necessary equipment, that bulletproof vest that they wear,” 8th District Commander Bryan Spreyne said.

The event is similar to the 19th Ward’s event, which also hosts an annual pancake breakfast. Both this year and last year, it was switched to a drive-thru version due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s important to support our police department because they’re on the forefront, risking their lives to ensure our community and streets are safe,” 16th District Cook County Commissioner Frank Aguilar said.