NY Lobsterman Falls Overboard, Found!

NY Lobsterman Falls Overboard, Found!

What a great ending!

NY Lobsterman Falls Overboard, Found Floating in Ocean 40 Miles from Boat After 12 Hours

Jason Aldridge used his rubber boots as a raft

By Checkey Beckford
|  Friday, Jul 26, 2013  |  Updated 6:36 AM EDT
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A New York lobsterman who fell off his boat and was missing for nearly 12 hours was rescued by the Coast Guard about 40 miles from the vessel, floating in the ocean using his rubber boots as a raft. 

Jonathan Aldridge was last seen Tuesday night on the 44-foot lobster vessel Anna Mary. Rescuers began searching for him when a colleague sounded the alarm Wednesday morning, officials said.

Aldridge said he was moving a cooler when the handle broke off and he “fell off the back of the boat, just like that.” 

Coast Guard crews from across New England coordinated to search more than 780 square miles of ocean.

Meanwhile, Aldridge stayed afloat by tucking his arms over his upside-down rubber boots. He saw dolphins starting to swim past, a sign of hope. 

“I was like, ‘There is no way I’m dying this way. This is how I gotta go? No way,'” said Aldridge. 

A helicopter crew spotted Aldridge in the choppy ocean waves about 43 miles south of Montauk — at first just a flash of white floating in the water, briefly disappearing before his motionless body returned to view, video shows.

Aldridge was plucked from the ocean around 3 p.m. in a rescue caught on video by the Coast Guard. He was released from the hospital Thursday with a sunburn, a sore throat and pain under his arms from clutching his boots for so long.

After a reunion with his family at home, Aldridge described his emotions upon realizing he had been found. 

“When I knew that they saw me it was like, it was the best feeling in the world,” he said. “I was craving a cheeseburger for some reason, I don’t know why.”

His father, John Aldridge Sr., said when the family got the call that he was alive, “we just fell apart, the whole house. There was 40 or 50 people here, it was just amazing.”

His dad isn’t surprised his son held on that long.

“He is that type of person,” he said.

 

Chicago Police Detective Richard Milz and the 100 Club

We mourn the loss of a dear friend, neighbor, former CPD detective, spokesman and supporter of the 100 Club of Chicago. Actor Dennis Farina passed away on July 22 at the age of 69. A police officer for 18 years and generous through and through, Dennis asked that donations be made to the 100 Club of Chicago in lieu of flowers. He will be greatly missed! To see one of his 100 Club spots visit:

What a class act! RIP.

Richard Milz and The Man who Gave Away $7.5Billion

Richard Milz and The Man who Gave Away $7.5Billion

The Man who Gave Away $7.5Billion

 

DeliciousReddit

 

JULY 22, 2013

 
 

An Irish-American billionaire who kept his philanthropy secret for 15 years has given away $7.5billion (£4.9billion) – and plans for it all to go to charity before his dies.

 

Chuck Feeney, 82, wears a $15 Casio watch, travels in coach, does not own a car is a self-confessed ‘shabby dresser’ and sensibly made his children work their way through college.

 

He has given away 99 per cent of his fortune to health, science, education and civil rights causes around the world through his Atlantic Philanthropies foundation.

 

Feeney, who still has a sizeable $2million left in the bank, made his money from duty free shopping and quietly began giving his money away in the 1980s.

 

Read more: Daily Mail

Rich Milz and where to go for a drink in Chicago!

Rich Milz and where to go for a drink in Chicago!

From Rich Milz via Eater Chicago

Sometimes you just need that perfect cocktail to unwind on a warm summer’s day. Whether you fancy an Old Fashioned or a Margarita, the Cocktail Heatmap will help you quench that thirst. The updated map shows you more new places alongside old standbys so that you can hit up the hottest spots during the hottest months. These beverage programs have mastered the art of craft cocktails and their diverse concoctions will satisfy even the most selective drinkers. And if you just want a beer or something simple? Well, you should be ok there, too.

Did we miss your favorite spot? Leave us a comment and tell us where you like to drink.

 
 
 
 

 
The Berkshire Room
15 E Ohio, Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 894-0800, website
 
 

 
 
Map DataMap data ©2013 Google – Terms of Use
Map Data
Map data ©2013 Google
Map data ©2013 Google
Chicago Cocktail Heatmap Summer ’13
 
Outgoing beverage director Craig Schoettler certainly put his mark on the beverage selection before he heads off to Vegas. His progressive cocktails and top-notch whiskies are not to be missed, especially on the rooftop in summer.
201 E Delaware Pl, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 943-5000
 
41.89907126802097-87.62196657221749
 
The Berkshire Room
Benjamin Schiller, former head mixologist for Boka Group’s restaurants, now leads the way at this new craft cocktail lounge inside the ACME Hotel. Adventurous drinkers can order a dealer’s choice cocktail—chose a spirit and flavor—and leave it in the hands of the bartenders, or try one of the signature cocktails or barrel finished cocktails. Guests can also indulge in upscale bar snacks created by Chris Curren.
15 E Ohio, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 894-0800
 
41.89245798312855-87.62745193681695
 
Ward Eight
If you’ve missed In Fine Spirits, Ward Eight carries on the tradition in Evanston as a cocktail lounge and shop. The warmly lit, intimate space seats 35 and features local batch liquor and a carefully sourced beer and wine menu. In addition, wine and cocktail classes will be offered in the coming future.
631 Howard St, Evanston, IL 60202
(847) 420-7353
 
42.019549765062095-87.67979003007072
 
Already so hot it’s considering expansion, DryHop Brewers’ opening beer list features six house brews available by the glass or growler. Selections include Shark Meets Hipster (wheat IPA), The Jury (American pale ale), Don’t Poke the Bear (oatmeal brown ale) and more. There’s also an extensive whiskey list and a rustic food menu focusing on bar snacks and larger plates.
3155 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 857-3155
 
41.93893506336477-87.6443338394165
 
The dec
With summer in full swing, it’s the perfect time to hit up The dec, the rooftop lounge attached to deca on the 12th floor. Sip on craft cocktails while enjoying the skyline view on a hot Chicago day. And what better way to cool off than with an old-fashioned ice cream cart offering mini push pops in flavors like banana cream, lemon meringue and salted pretzel with milk chocolate.
160 E. Pearson, Chicago, IL
(312) 266-1000
 
41.898297787251934-87.62229918336658
 
The wait may be long for Parson’s but that’s just an excuse to hang out on the spacious back patio for a drink (or two). The summer’s hottest spot offers a wide selection of beer including a housemade Michelada, craft cocktails, and everyone’s favorite frozen treat—Negroni Slushy.
2952 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 384-3333
 
41.91777025178418-87.7013147709024
 
Love all things American? Then head to American Junkie for the full-on experience with its retractable roof, descending DJ booth, largest single-panel high-definition television screen in the Midwest and plenty of US flags. The drinks menu offers a wide variety of draft and bottled beers, wines and craft cocktails like the Cheating Tiger (Jim Bean Black, Combier peach, tea, lemon) and You’ll Thank Me Later (Bombay gin, orange, thyme). Complementing them are dishes from the kitchen courtesy of chef Kendal Duque.
15 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 239-0995
 
41.89104356624597-87.6285026608878
 
Gallery Bar
An “art gallery gone rogue,” Gallery Bar is a new art gallery/night club concept that revolves around a street theme. The beverage program features beer cocktails named after local artists and famous works of art, as well as wines and spirits. The space displays and sells works from 25 local artists and is low-key during the week, turning into a party on the weekends with art performances and local DJ sets.
738 N Clark St., Chicago, IL
(312) 929-2658
 
41.89570446603891-87.63139925673474
 
Billy Sunday
Mathias Merges’ cocktail haven Billy Sunday has received rave reviews and it’s not hard to understand why. Building off the successful Yusho beverage program, mixologist Alex Bachman puts his twist on classics like the Old Fashioned, Negroni and Daiquiri. And a section solely devoted to tonics offers the Kent, one of the best Gin & Tonics in town.
3143 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 661-2485
 
41.9278208-87.7065507
 
The Grid
Located in the space below what was once Baume & Brix, stop by The Grid and have a seat fireside on the leather couches or one of the communal tables. Drinks are created from the custom syrup program, specialty sodas, and homemade fruit purées. And forget regular bottle service, the team will craft specialty Manhattan’s and Old Fashions tableside for guests who purchase a bottle.
351 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 321-1351
 
41.88988-87.637803
 
Charcoal Bar
Charcoal Bar, which sits below Sumi Robata Bar, seats 11 and highlights the Japanese cocktail culture and the use of rare ingredients and boutique liquors. Seating is first-come, first-served for a taste of mixologist Matthew Lipsky’s concoctions.
702 N Wells, Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 988-7864
 
41.894924-87.634269
 
¡Ay Chiwowa!
Rockit Ranch Productions’ newest Mexican-themed dive features more than 80 tequilas, with four house-kegged tequila cocktails being the main attractions. The spicy and intriguing Acai Berry Jalapeno Margarita is made of maestro dobel reposado, agave, acai liqueur, jalapeño simple syrup, lime juice and orange squeeze. Add in an outdoor patio for summertime drinking and you can’t go wrong.
311 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 643-3200
 
41.89652183976152-87.63616064919756
 
Bub City
Mixologist Paul McGee’s drinks program focuses on dozens of whiskeys to complement the barbecue-heavy menu and signature cocktails include a Manhattan, Whiskey Tango and Horse’s Neck—Wild Turkey, lemon and ginger beer.
435 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 610-4200
 
41.89022077557129-87.63106189228978
 
Fabio Viviani’s rustic Italian spot features a delicious cocktail list by Revae Schneider. The drinks are simply labeled No. 1 through 11 with selections like the No. 5 (Maker’s Mark, averna amaro, allspice dram, marsala chai, lemon, angostura and sparkling apple cider), and the No. 9 (Jameson, gingerbread, crème de noisette, angostura and lime).
51 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 595-1322
 
41.88916849472129-87.629683491679
 
Off Site Bar
The small, stand-alone microbar that sits behind Longman & Eagle holds 16 seats and features a beverage menu similar to L&E, but smaller and more tightly curated. When the weather permits, the space will also go open-air for some outdoors drinking.
2656 N. Kedzie, Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 276-7110
 
41.93004184304572-87.70706484953501
 
The subterranean 1920s-era speakeasy offers a swank lounge, private cabanas, live entertainment space and an enormous whiskey library with over 300 choices. The vast array of craft cocktails spans the globe and is accompanied by a mix of beers and wines. A menu of seasonal, local small and large plates for sharing complements the drink list.
111 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 880-1511
 
41.889179082771086-87.63179927134884
 
If you like gin, then you’ve come to the right place. The Logan Square parlor combines the feel of your neighborhood bar with a craft cocktail menu that’s sure to please. The list favors gin-based libations (there’s more than 50 types behind the bar), but includes enough variety to remain accessible to all. So take a break from the martini and try something new.
3201 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 252-9700
 
41.917364984640884-87.70708890691276
 
Enjoy the view from the rooftop patio during the warm summer days and enjoy new bar manager Tony Selna’s unique craft cocktails along with a punch bowl program that’s J. Parker’s answer to bottle service.
1800 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 254-4747
 
41.91546056487495-87.63443060549051
 
Open since Fall of 2011, Stephen Cole’s temple to cocktailing is still shaking things up in Lincoln Park with some deceptively strong craft drinks. The menu features all of the classics as well as some new concoctions, as well as punches that are available in flowing bowls.
2624 N Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 857-0421
 
41.929488-87.654546
 
Award-winner Charles Joly leads the beverage program at this highly acclaimed spot and has been slowly turning over the cocktail list. Sit out on the patio on a nice night or try your luck and see if you can get into the exclusive Office underneath.
955 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 226-0868
 
41.886655860760605-87.6519513130188
 
The Violet Hour
The cocktail lounge that paved the way for the rest of the city is just as popular as ever. Step inside the intimate space and peruse through an extensive handcrafted drink menu that includes gin, vodka, tequila, rum, whiskey, brandy and portable bitters creations. Try the Juliet & Romeo or the Sazerac.
1520 N Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 252-1500
 
41.909048226302026-87.67742156982422
 
You will have no problem bellying up to the bar at this modern restaurant and culinary cocktail lounge with an unmatched drink program in Chicago. The elite team of master bartenders, led by Cristiana DeLucca, are all intent on sharing the artistry and history behind your drink.
937 N Rush St, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 266-2694
 
41.9000048820186-87.62704706421407
 
Outgoing beverage director Craig Schoettler certainly put his mark on the beverage selection before he heads off to Vegas. His progressive cocktails and top-notch whiskies are not to be missed, especially on the rooftop in summer.
201 E Delaware Pl, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 943-5000
 
41.89907126802097-87.62196657221749
 
The Berkshire Room
Benjamin Schiller, former head mixologist for Boka Group’s restaurants, now leads the way at this new craft cocktail lounge inside the ACME Hotel. Adventurous drinkers can order a dealer’s choice cocktail—chose a spirit and flavor—and leave it in the hands of the bartenders, or try one of the signature cocktails or barrel finished cocktails. Guests can also indulge in upscale bar snacks created by Chris Curren.
15 E Ohio, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 894-0800
 
41.89245798312855-87.62745193681695
 
The Berkshire Room
Benjamin Schiller, former head mixologist for Boka Group’s restaurants, now leads the way at this new craft cocktail lounge inside the ACME Hotel. Adventurous drinkers can order a dealer’s choice cocktail—chose a spirit and flavor—and leave it in the hands of the bartenders, or try one of the signature cocktails or barrel finished cocktails. Guests can also indulge in upscale bar snacks created by Chris Curren.
15 E Ohio, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 894-0800
 
41.89245798312855-87.62745193681695
 
Ward Eight
If you’ve missed In Fine Spirits, Ward Eight carries on the tradition in Evanston as a cocktail lounge and shop. The warmly lit, intimate space seats 35 and features local batch liquor and a carefully sourced beer and wine menu. In addition, wine and cocktail classes will be offered in the coming future.
631 Howard St, Evanston, IL 60202
(847) 420-7353
 
42.019549765062095-87.67979003007072
 
Already so hot it’s considering expansion, DryHop Brewers’ opening beer list features six house brews available by the glass or growler. Selections include Shark Meets Hipster (wheat IPA), The Jury (American pale ale), Don’t Poke the Bear (oatmeal brown ale) and more. There’s also an extensive whiskey list and a rustic food menu focusing on bar snacks and larger plates.
3155 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 857-3155
 
41.93893506336477-87.6443338394165
 
The dec
With summer in full swing, it’s the perfect time to hit up The dec, the rooftop lounge attached to deca on the 12th floor. Sip on craft cocktails while enjoying the skyline view on a hot Chicago day. And what better way to cool off than with an old-fashioned ice cream cart offering mini push pops in flavors like banana cream, lemon meringue and salted pretzel with milk chocolate.
160 E. Pearson, Chicago, IL
(312) 266-1000
 
41.898297787251934-87.62229918336658
 
The wait may be long for Parson’s but that’s just an excuse to hang out on the spacious back patio for a drink (or two). The summer’s hottest spot offers a wide selection of beer including a housemade Michelada, craft cocktails, and everyone’s favorite frozen treat—Negroni Slushy.
2952 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 384-3333
 
41.91777025178418-87.7013147709024
 
Love all things American? Then head to American Junkie for the full-on experience with its retractable roof, descending DJ booth, largest single-panel high-definition television screen in the Midwest and plenty of US flags. The drinks menu offers a wide variety of draft and bottled beers, wines and craft cocktails like the Cheating Tiger (Jim Bean Black, Combier peach, tea, lemon) and You’ll Thank Me Later (Bombay gin, orange, thyme). Complementing them are dishes from the kitchen courtesy of chef Kendal Duque.
15 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 239-0995
 
41.89104356624597-87.6285026608878
 
Gallery Bar
An “art gallery gone rogue,” Gallery Bar is a new art gallery/night club concept that revolves around a street theme. The beverage program features beer cocktails named after local artists and famous works of art, as well as wines and spirits. The space displays and sells works from 25 local artists and is low-key during the week, turning into a party on the weekends with art performances and local DJ sets.
738 N Clark St., Chicago, IL
(312) 929-2658
 
41.89570446603891-87.63139925673474
 
Billy Sunday
Mathias Merges’ cocktail haven Billy Sunday has received rave reviews and it’s not hard to understand why. Building off the successful Yusho beverage program, mixologist Alex Bachman puts his twist on classics like the Old Fashioned, Negroni and Daiquiri. And a section solely devoted to tonics offers the Kent, one of the best Gin & Tonics in town.
3143 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 661-2485
 
41.9278208-87.7065507
 
The Grid
Located in the space below what was once Baume & Brix, stop by The Grid and have a seat fireside on the leather couches or one of the communal tables. Drinks are created from the custom syrup program, specialty sodas, and homemade fruit purées. And forget regular bottle service, the team will craft specialty Manhattan’s and Old Fashions tableside for guests who purchase a bottle.
351 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 321-1351
 
41.88988-87.637803
 
Charcoal Bar
Charcoal Bar, which sits below Sumi Robata Bar, seats 11 and highlights the Japanese cocktail culture and the use of rare ingredients and boutique liquors. Seating is first-come, first-served for a taste of mixologist Matthew Lipsky’s concoctions.
702 N Wells, Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 988-7864
 
41.894924-87.634269
 
¡Ay Chiwowa!
Rockit Ranch Productions’ newest Mexican-themed dive features more than 80 tequilas, with four house-kegged tequila cocktails being the main attractions. The spicy and intriguing Acai Berry Jalapeno Margarita is made of maestro dobel reposado, agave, acai liqueur, jalapeño simple syrup, lime juice and orange squeeze. Add in an outdoor patio for summertime drinking and you can’t go wrong.
311 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 643-3200
 
41.89652183976152-87.63616064919756
 
Bub City
Mixologist Paul McGee’s drinks program focuses on dozens of whiskeys to complement the barbecue-heavy menu and signature cocktails include a Manhattan, Whiskey Tango and Horse’s Neck—Wild Turkey, lemon and ginger beer.
435 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 610-4200
 
41.89022077557129-87.63106189228978
 
Fabio Viviani’s rustic Italian spot features a delicious cocktail list by Revae Schneider. The drinks are simply labeled No. 1 through 11 with selections like the No. 5 (Maker’s Mark, averna amaro, allspice dram, marsala chai, lemon, angostura and sparkling apple cider), and the No. 9 (Jameson, gingerbread, crème de noisette, angostura and lime).
51 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 595-1322
 
41.88916849472129-87.629683491679
 
Off Site Bar
The small, stand-alone microbar that sits behind Longman & Eagle holds 16 seats and features a beverage menu similar to L&E, but smaller and more tightly curated. When the weather permits, the space will also go open-air for some outdoors drinking.
2656 N. Kedzie, Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 276-7110
 
41.93004184304572-87.70706484953501
 
The subterranean 1920s-era speakeasy offers a swank lounge, private cabanas, live entertainment space and an enormous whiskey library with over 300 choices. The vast array of craft cocktails spans the globe and is accompanied by a mix of beers and wines. A menu of seasonal, local small and large plates for sharing complements the drink list.
111 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 880-1511
 
41.889179082771086-87.63179927134884
 
If you like gin, then you’ve come to the right place. The Logan Square parlor combines the feel of your neighborhood bar with a craft cocktail menu that’s sure to please. The list favors gin-based libations (there’s more than 50 types behind the bar), but includes enough variety to remain accessible to all. So take a break from the martini and try something new.
3201 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 252-9700
 
41.917364984640884-87.70708890691276
 
Enjoy the view from the rooftop patio during the warm summer days and enjoy new bar manager Tony Selna’s unique craft cocktails along with a punch bowl program that’s J. Parker’s answer to bottle service.
1800 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 254-4747
 
41.91546056487495-87.63443060549051
 
Open since Fall of 2011, Stephen Cole’s temple to cocktailing is still shaking things up in Lincoln Park with some deceptively strong craft drinks. The menu features all of the classics as well as some new concoctions, as well as punches that are available in flowing bowls.
2624 N Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 857-0421
 
41.929488-87.654546
 
Award-winner Charles Joly leads the beverage program at this highly acclaimed spot and has been slowly turning over the cocktail list. Sit out on the patio on a nice night or try your luck and see if you can get into the exclusive Office underneath.
955 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 226-0868
 
41.886655860760605-87.6519513130188
 
The Violet Hour
The cocktail lounge that paved the way for the rest of the city is just as popular as ever. Step inside the intimate space and peruse through an extensive handcrafted drink menu that includes gin, vodka, tequila, rum, whiskey, brandy and portable bitters creations. Try the Juliet & Romeo or the Sazerac.
1520 N Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 252-1500
 
41.909048226302026-87.67742156982422
 
You will have no problem bellying up to the bar at this modern restaurant and culinary cocktail lounge with an unmatched drink program in Chicago. The elite team of master bartenders, led by Cristiana DeLucca, are all intent on sharing the artistry and history behind your drink.
937 N Rush St, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 266-2694
 
41.9000048820186-87.62704706421407
 
Outgoing beverage director Craig Schoettler certainly put his mark on the beverage selection before he heads off to Vegas. His progressive cocktails and top-notch whiskies are not to be missed, especially on the rooftop in summer.
201 E Delaware Pl, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 943-5000
 
41.89907126802097-87.62196657221749
 

 

Related links
 

Dennis Farina – What a class act!

Dennis Farin – What a class act!

Donations to 100 Club of Chicago over flowers to honor Farina

 

Hollywood actor and Chicago native Dennis Farina tipped his hat to the Second City posthumously today.

In lieu of flowers, anyone making a donation in honor of his death will be sending their money to the 100 Club of Chicago. The organization helps families financially after they have lost a loved one in the line of duty. These are families of firefighters, police officers among others.

Farina, a Chicago cop for 18 years before he began to act, cut two public service announcements for the 100 Club. His friend of 30 years, Joe Ahern, said Farina is a Chicagoan through and through.

“He never forget where he came from,” Ahern said.

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy issued the following statement about Farina:

“The entire CPD family was saddened to hear of the passing of Dennis Farina, a legendary character actor who was a true-blue Chicago character.  After an 18-year career in the Chicago Police Department, Dennis had a wonderful second act in life, bringing his distinctive Chicago voice and values to millions of people.  No matter how far he got, Dennis never forgot where he came from, and while he was cherished by audiences around the world, he will always be first and foremost a guy from the Near North Side who helped make this city safer.  We respect him for his service, we regard him for his talent, and we will remember him always.”

Ahern, with the 100 Club, believes services for Farina will be held in Chicago sometime early next week.

For more information, got http://www.100clubchicago.org

Read more: http://wgntv.com/2013/07/22/donations-to-100-club-of-chicago-over-flowers-to-honor-farina/#ixzz2Zt9bgQqd

Histroy of the 100 Club

Histroy of the 100 Club

History of the 100 Club

Where Did the Hundred Club Concept Come From? Who First Had The Idea?

Here is a short history copied from a saturday evening post article by Arthur W. Baum, which appeared on April 7, 1956 yes, that’s right, 1956.

A policeman is slain by a cornered gunman. A fireman dies in a flaming building. Are the families of these public heroes forgotten? Not in Detroit, thanks to the Hundred Club.

The Bluecoats’ Best Friends

“Not all the superior products of Detroit have carburetors and wheels and windshields. One of the city’s finest developments of the last few years has been a nonprofit organization called the Hundred Club, something that deserves to be copied by other large American cities. The Hundred Club is unorthodox. It has no clubrooms, no paid employees, less than a drawerful of records and the dues are high. It scrounges free talents and services from willing members who are invariably among the ablest and highest-priced in the Detroit area. The club meets only twice a year, at the members’ expense, and the concern of those who belong is not with each other but with complete strangers. The Hundred Club has few assets – nothing but a big fund of money, a growing reservoir of good deeds and the largest heart in town.

It is stated in the club charter that its purpose is to help provide for the widows and dependents of policemen and firemen who lose their lives in the line of duty. This is an understatement. For one thing, the city of Detroit maintains a program of death benefits and pensions for this purpose that is inferior to few and better than many similar big-city systems. The widows, in short, are provided for without the Hundred Club. Yet the club is known and loved throughout the police and fire-fighting communities. In the words of one bluecoat, “It has given all of us a real wonderful lift in our emotions.” For the club has put a soothing finger on a tender spot that cannot be touched by a set formula of benefit or pension.

As it now functions, the Hundred Club stands as assurance to every policeman and fireman in its territory that if he should die [in the line of] duty the following things will happen within twenty-four hours: His widow will have $1000 in cash in the house, current bills will be paid, and if a debt or mortgage exists on his house, arrangements will be under way to clear it entirely. It is not expected that this will lessen the shock and grief of sudden, tragic widowhood. It is a contribution designed to lift from distracted households the specters of financial worry that are too often born of and compound the tragedy. The widow must face the loss of her husband, but she need not face also the loss of her home, the burden of debt, and possible deprivation for the children.

The Hundred Club does not require that a policeman or fireman die in violence or as a public hero, nor that his widow be threatened with impoverishment. One of the most recent club cases is that of Chief of Police William Katke, of the suburban village of Pleasant Ridge. In October, Chief Katke answered an ambulance call for a heart-attack victim and assisted in carrying the fatally stricken man to the car. Within moments Chief Katke was a second fatality. His own heart had stopped.

The Hundred Club, advised of the death, went into motion. Club president William Packer, who is the world’s largest Pontiac automobile dealer, set out for the Katke home carrying, according to club custom, a check for $1000 for the widow’s immediate contingencies. He had a little trouble getting Mrs. Katke to accept it. She had never heard of this group of Detroit big names.

The Katke’s, in middle age, had been thrifty and frugal, their modest home in adjoining Ferndale was clear of debt and Mrs. Katke would have an income she considered sufficient, including future education for her fourteen-year-old daughter. Bill Packer admired her stand, but the Hundred Club has a mind of its own and a committee that is smarter than the average citizen. Nate Shapiro, who has built a huge chain of drugstrores and who has had wide experience as a philanthropist, heads it. The committee, after an analysis by officers of the National Bank of Detroit, found Mrs. Katke overoptimistic. Had her husband been a Detroit policeman she would have received $4000 and a pension of a little less than half his salary. But he was not, and small communities have more meager resources for widows, sometimes none. Mrs. Katke, it was decided, needed a little more.

Within sixty days Jim Zinn, a vice-president of the bank, had ready an annuity which would add thirty dollars a month to Mrs. Katke’s income for ten years, more than enough time to see the daughter out of school. Nate Shapiro delivered the surprise a week before Christmas, Only then was the Hundred Club satisfied.

The Krueger case was different. On a warm August night last year, in the dark upstairs hallway of a Detroit apartment building, a shotgun blast boomed from a doorway, Five policemen were closing in for an arrest. The blast hit only one of them, Patrolman George Krueger, but it killed him. Patrolman George Krueger left a twenty-two-year-old widow with three small children. Next morning, Bill Packer, accompanied by Deputy Police Commissioner Miles Furlong, delivered the Hundred Club’s customary cash check and then surveyed the Krueger situation. The distraught young widow produced a cigar box. It held papers on $614 of small loans. The house was under a $6925 mortgage. There was an automobile, worth just about what was still due on installment payments. The Hundred Club paid off the mortgage and debts and helped dispose of the automobile. Mrs. Krueger was out of debt years before she would otherwise have been and her pension would thus be unencumbered.

It is not unusual for Detroit police and firemen to live intimately with debt. They have job security. They are good risks and credit comes easily. Many of the rookies are war veterans with houses bought on slim margins, but with youthful confidence that a long pay-off period can be managed because the job is steady. This is not unusual, but for a group of businessmen to spot a potential weakness in this way of life and then, when tragedy strikes, to make a generous repair is unique.

The story reaches back before 1950, when a police sergeant in the Palmer Park area of Detroit was wounded by an attacker’s bullet. Bill Packer knew the sergeant and considered him a friend, as he did most of the policemen and firemen in the area of his home and nearby business. He thought they did a good job in a friendly way, and he visited the sergeant in the hospital and talked to him about his work and the risks that went with it, Packer concluded that it was a rough deal and that citizens like himself should be pretty grateful. The sergeant recovered, but as Packer later said, “I thought about him for a long time after that. He was probably on my mind when former Commissioner George Boos one night told me about the death of Officer Andreas Mellert, a young ex-marine.

Patrolman Andreas Mellert was engaged in a routine pickup of a young man who had failed to appear on a traffic-violation charge. The young man had not resisted, but his father was enraged, and, as Mellert and his charge left the front door the father opened a front window and shot the patrolman in the back, killing him. Andreas Mellert left a young widow, a tiny girl with large eyes. She had just a few days earlier sold a little one-woman beauty shop that she had been operating. She had to sell – she was shortly going to the hospital to have her first child. As a widow she would receive $4000 and a pension of $170 a month. The Mellerts owed $4500 on their modest home.

Bill Packer went to the hospital to see Esther Mellert and was so touched by the collapse of her bright family plans that he sat down and wrote 100 friends, asking them to contribute to a fund for the policeman’s widow. He also enlisted the interest of columnist Jack Carlisle, of the Detroit News, who published a moving column about the expectant young mother in the hospital and the posthumous child of the police hero waiting to be born. Before Mrs. Mellert and newborn Kathleen Mellert left the hospital, Packer, Carlisle and Commissioner Boos handed Esther Mellert a bankbook with $7800 standing in her name. Andreas was killed on November 17, 1950. Kathleen was born on New Year’s Eve. Three and one half years later the Hundred Club was to set up a scholarship fund of $1000 for Kathleen.

The Hundred Club did not then exist. Nor had it been conceived a year later, when another benefit was collected for the widow of Officer Jerlecki, shot making an arrest in an armed robbery. Packer was only a contributor to this fund. He was in Florida. Four other Detroiters managed it, two of them subsequently Hundred Club members, H.W. Hart and C. S. Fitzgerlad. But Packer began to wonder if this was quite the way for citizens like him to discharge a civic obligation that they felt should be met. Suppose that Mellert’s young wife had not been in the hospital on the eve of motherhood or that Jerlecki had died less dramatically than he did. Would the response of donors have been so easy to obtain? Would a girl widowed by an undramatic fatality be less in need of help than a hero’s widow?

Packer discussed these ideas with Jack Carlisle on a boat trip in the summer of 1952. Don Mumford, manager of Detroit Statler Hotel and at that time a newcomer to town, was present. Among them they created the idea of a club whose members would contribute a fixed amount annually so that a permanent fund would be available to meet the problems as they arose. Dues were to be $200 a year, solely for the widows and dependents, plus $50 for expenses and two fancy dinners a year, just enough social binding to keep members together. The dinners have indeed been fancy, and well attended. Mumford, who is now secretary of the club, donated the first dinner at the Statler, including grouse flown in from Scotland, and expensive gift. The manager of the Sheraton-Cadillac donated the second, and from then on the club has paid its way.

Of the first 100 invited to join, only two failed to respond promptly, and they joined later. Then other Detroit businessmen, approving the idea, demanded to be let in. The limit was raised to 200, then to 250. The membership stands now at 267, with the reserve fund at $157,000.00 – enough to cope with results of a real disaster. At the last meeting the membership was asked if, in view of the large reserve, dues henceforth should be reduced. The suggestion was thunderously voted down.

Membership in the Hundred Club is sliced right off the top of Detroit business. Of the five automobile manufacturers, four presidents are members, together with a string of top officers of all five. There are also a Cabinet member, nationally known manufacturers, retailers, advertising heads, bankers and professional men. An honorary list includes the mayor, president of the Common Council, and the heads of four police and fire associations. Commissioner of Police Edward Piggins is a regular member. In his report at the last meeting he gave a clue as to how the force looks on the club. He said, “I echo the sentiment of every man and every woman in the Detroit Police Department when I say God bless each and every one of you.”

Organized in 1952, the Hundred Club had only six months to wait to find out what it was like to play angel. In July, 1953, Motorcycle Patrolman Arthur Meyers, while on duty, was killed at a downtown intersection. Bill Packer, Bert Hart and Jack Carlisle did not go immediately to the Meyers’ house on the first official club errand. They stopped instead at the home of the man who, they had learned, held a land contract on the Meyers’ home. The amount due was $7500. When the trio arrived at the Meyers’ house they found Violet Meyers, a fine young woman with three children. There was also a police sergeant present. It is doubtful that any of them will ever forget the scene. Bill packer wrote out a Hundred Club check for $7500 and told Mrs. Meyers that it would be waiting to pay off the land contract when the holder called. Mrs. Meyers broke down. The burly sergeant broke down. The three Hundred Club members nearly joined them.

The emotional strain in this phase of the club’s work is so intense that it is probably as well that the members are all pretty hardheaded men. Only once has a woman played a part. On that occasion Don Mumford’s wife undertook to deliver the deed that gave a young Melvindale widow the house she lived in with her three children. Her husband, Patrolman Cashel Fergurson, of the Melvindale Police, had shortly before that been killed while he was directing traffic around the scene of an accident on a rainy, misty night. His widow remembered too well that traffic was the one job her husband disliked. The Hundred Club had already given her the customary cash and had, because it was vital to her, completed payment on an automobile. Then, when Mrs. Mumford brought her the evidence that her house was clear, she was overcome. So was Don Mumford’s wife.

When the Hundred Club was two years old members voted to go back beyond the club’s formation to see if hardship existed among the women who had been widowed before the club appeared. So, with the help of both police and fire departments, every woman who had been widowed by a line-of-duty casualty was investigated. Those who had remarried were assumed to be provided for, and there were others who were in comfortable circumstances. But twenty-five were found who might use a cash gift, and to each of these a check for $1000 was sent. As a result, the club now has a file of twenty-three heart-warming thank-you letters. They speak of a hearing aid that was needed and could now be obtained, a child that could now go a little further in school than had been hoped, or the great lift that came with the knowledge that after all the years, someone had remembered.

Perhaps the longest step that the Hundred Club has yet taken is in the minds of the policemen and the fire fighters themselves. They were skeptics at first. Some of the uniformed men wondered what these big-shot businessmen had up their sleeves. Did they have an angle, and what could it be? One of the more suspicious fire officers expressed his strong skepticism to Jack Carlisle on the street one day and a fist fight nearly ensued. About a year ago the skeptic apologized. “I was wrong,” he said, “and I’m glad to admit it. You fellows are just about the nicest thing in town.”

Undoubtedly, the members of the Hundred Club are out-going men. In their benevolent concern with the deaths of certain citizens probably not one of them had noticed a curious and perhaps entirely irrelevant parallel – the fact that for each death in which they have helped a widow, two of their own members have quietly passed away.”

So, the Hundred or 100 or whatever variation of the name is used comes from the 100 friends Bill Packer originally wrote. It was his first idea to limit membership to that number when he incorporated The Hundred Club of Detroit in 1952. Demands from others to be admitted were granted, but the name stayed the same.