The death of a first responder is not only a dark day for Chicago, but also a very public one for the spouse and children left behind. A grieving family is forced to go through that pain in front of hundreds of thousands of people.
"I don't think it ever goes away. It's a forever wound," said Caitlyn Brennan, 100 Club of Chicago. "We take comfort knowing we can help the family and there will be brighter days ahead."
The 100 Club of Chicago helps the family of fallen first responders both financially, with an initial check, and circles back to help with higher education costs as their children become young adults.
"I never thought I'd be getting a master's degree," Donald J. Marquez, Jr. said. Thanks to the 100 Club, all three of his sisters were awarded tuition scholarships along with Donny.
"I forever feel indebted to what the 100 Club has done along the way over the last 18 years," he said.
To date, 333 degrees have been earned by children of Chicago's fallen first responders.