Parade raises $100K in honor of fallen Chicago police officer Ella French
CHICAGO - Organizers of the Chicago Working Families’ Archer Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade announced Wednesday that the March 12 parade raised $100,000 for the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation’s "Get Behind the Vest" initiative.
According to a news release, parade organizers chose fallen officer Ella French as the 2022 Honorary Grand Marshal, and initiated fundraising efforts to provide assistance to Chicago Police Department officers in securing bulletproof vests. Funds were raised through parade sponsorships and donations.
"We are overwhelmed by the support that the parade received from our partners this year, and I am so proud to be a member of this community," said Parade Chairman James M. Sweeney, who also serves as president-business manager of Local 150.
"From the unions and companies who bought sponsorships to the neighbors who donated $10 or $20, everyone united to support the men and women who put themselves in harm’s way to protect our safety. Officer Ella French’s death was heartbreaking, and we hope that our effort can play a small role in stopping future tragedies.
"This parade started as a way to bring the neighborhood together for an afternoon, and seeing it step up to serve such an important role is something we should all be proud of."
Despite frigid temperatures, 75 businesses and community groups marched in this year’s parade, the release states. The Archer Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade was started in 2017 by the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, and participation from labor organizations, corporations and community groups has grown steadily each year, according to the release.
Top sponsors of the 2022 Archer Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade included the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 134, the Chicago Building Trades Council, Chicago Federation of Labor, Chicago Laborers District Council, Teamsters Joint Council 25, Pipefitting Council of Greater Chicago, McGill Asphalt, McHugh Concrete, Gatwood Crane, Megent Financial, Taylor Excavating, Ullico, Friends of Silvana Tabares and the 13th Ward Democratic Organization, according to the release. .