At its annual dinner in February 2015, OTMRA presented $25,000 in donations to local charities and causes. Among those were Franklin Fine Arts Center, Immaculate Conception/St. Joseph Schools, Project Education Plus, Art On Sedgwick, Near North Library and A Red Orchid Theatre. The last of these donations — and the largest at $10,000 — went to the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, in support of the families of our city’s fallen officers.
Now, five months later, one project associated with that donation has been completed: “The Quilt To Remember”.
The Quilt to Remember is a memorial to all members of the Chicago Police Department who have lost their lives. A group of eight dedicated volunteers, including 18th District Community Police Sergeant Cynthia Schumann, collected hundreds of service-worn uniform shirts from active officers and the families of those who had died in service. Sgt. Schumann recounted one widow who had been holding on to her husbands shirts, and the catharsis she received knowing that his uniform would become a part of the Quilt.
To build the Quilt, volunteers built out a plan for a 112 sq. in. piece, using precisely cut strips of the aforementioned shirts, and special patches with the names of all CPD officers we’ve lost. These patches mimic he Chicago flag.
The Quilt was unveiled on May 3rd, in conjunction with the St. Jude police memorial luncheon. New 18th District Commander George Devereux spoke to the memories of fallen officers and the emotion put into the creation of this quilt. Each volunteer was honored individually, as was OTMRA for its role in funding the Quilt’s production.
The Quilt is currently on display at the 18th District Police Department (1160 N. Larrabee) and will begin a rotation at other stations and at different events once installed in its
tear- and fade-resistant glass container.
To learn more about the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, or to make a donation of your own, please visit their website.