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Six Chicago actors come together for first time to tape PSA to support organization that provides aid to families of fallen police officers, firefighters and emergency personnel

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CHICAGO, Illinois – Six Chicago actors, recognized for playing policemen on television and film, have come together for the first time to raise funds for the 100 Club of Chicago. Joe Ahern, executive director of the 100 Club of Chicago, brought this concept to comedian Tom Dreesen and creative strategist Mark Mitten of Mitten and a collaboration was formed. Dreesen then recruited the other actors. Founded in 1966, the 100 Club of Chicago provides financial and educational support for the surviving spouses and dependents of law enforcement officers, firefighters and paramedics who lose their lives in the line of duty.

Dennis Farina, Dennis Franz, Joe Mantegna, William Petersen, Gary Sinise and comedian Tom Dreesen donated their talents to tape a public service announcement asking for support of the 100 Club of Chicago. Taped on the sound stage of the CBS hit series Criminal Minds in December 2011, this public service announcement is being released in January 2012 and is now available to local and national radio and television stations. Still photographs from the shoot are also available for print publications.

“These guys – all fromChicago– have never forgotten where they came from and have never forgotten who protected where they came from. They came together to show their support and gratitude to Chicago’s Finest,” said native Chicagoan Dreesen.

“The 100 Club of Chicago is very grateful to these actors who have donated their time and talents to support the families of Cook County police officers and firefighters who have given their lives to protect and serve Chicagoland residents,” said Ahern. “These actors have a profound respect and appreciation for police officers and firefighters for what they do for all of us. This is their way of giving thanks to the sacrifices made by fallen police officers and firefighters.”                                                                                                                               →

In addition to the on-screen talent, production and editing services were donated by many of Chicago’s best creative names. The PSA was created and produced by ad executive Jim Schmidt of Downtown Partners and creative strategist Mark Mitten of Mitten. Jeffrey DeChausse directed the spots. Post-production editing was done by a team from Beast consisting of Morgan Bradley, Kendall Fash and Melissa Thornley. Audio and color production was done by Optimus personnel Marina Bacci and Tyler Roth. Music for the spot was composed by Peter Himmelman. Still photography was taken by Nathaniel Welch. The new logo for the 100 Club of Chicago was designed by Andy Keene of Go Dutch. Ahern was responsible for all organizational details.

The 100 Club of Chicago is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois. Its mission is to provide for the surviving spouses and dependents of law enforcement officers, firefighters and paramedics who lose their lives in the line of duty. This includes all federal, state, county and local officers, firefighters and paramedics stationed inCookCounty.

Since its inception, the 100 Club of Chicago has served 244 families by giving them more than $8.6 million, of which more than $4 million has been designated to educational assistance for the dependents. The Educational Assistance Program of the 100 Club of Chicago provides financial assistance for dependents for their undergraduate, vocational education and graduate studies.  Currently, there are 22 dependents receiving assistance from the program, and an additional 43 children will be eligible for assistance when they reach college age.

The 100 Club of Chicago is a civilian organization comprised of individuals, families and companies who, by their financial participation, are members of the Club.  This financial participation supports the work of the Club.

FYI      For copies of the PSA video and photographs as well as interviews, please contactDileep Gangolli, Sheila King Public Relations, 847-864-0199.