By Anna Lothson
It's been 12 years since Sept. 11 became an infamous date across America. Here in Oak Park, a local firefighters union hosts a fundraiser each year to help people remember to give back.
Appropriately titled "A Night to Remember," the Oak Park firefighters of Local 95 will host a charity dinner with Underwater People, a Chicago-based rock band, to raise funds for charities chosen by the firefighters.
The night kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, at Fitzgerald's, 6615 W. Roosevelt Road in Berwyn.
For a $60 entry fee — 100 percent of which goes to charity — guests will have a four-hour open bar, catered barbecue, three hours of music and a chance at a variety of raffle prizes. A silent auction with autographed sports memorabilia will be one aspect of the night.
Guests are encouraged to order tickets early, since only a limited number will be offered because of capacity.
All proceeds will go toward three charities — CureSearch for Children's Cancer (a national nonprofit organization); The Patrick Luby Foundation, and Help Luke Fight.
The second charity honors Lt. Patrick Luby, an Oak Park firefighter who was killed in the line of duty in 1992. The foundation provides scholarships to deserving Oak Park and River Forest High School students pursuing a career in teaching.
The third is a charity established to help U.S. Army Sgt. Luke Ciftka, whose leg was amputated above the knee as the result of an injury sustained when he stepped on an IED in Afghanistan in May.
Jon Morris, an Oak Park paramedic-firefighter, said the charity event is held each year to commemorate Sept. 11, 2001. Typically, it had been held on the actual date, but on the 14th year the event moved to the weekend. The group hopes to bring out at least 300 people for the event (400 is the max).
"It was just a good event to have everyone together and remember 9/11," Morris said, "and at the same time donate to any charities that were near and dear to us."
For more information about A Night to Remember, visit www.facebook.com/OPFD.Local95.Charity, or contact Morris at 773-799-4632 or firstname.lastname@example.org.