'Run to Remember' raises millions for families of CPD officers killed, injured in line of duty

CHICAGO (WLS) -- For 18 years and counting, the "Run to Remember" has honored Chicago police officers and the sacrifice they make in the line of duty.

Thousands of people filled into Chicago's Museum Campus Saturday for a tradition that raises millions of dollars every year for families of fallen officers, supporting them with hospital expenses and living expenses among other things.

"We're here to celebrate the lives and legacies and honor the service and sacrifice and catastrophically injured officers," said CPD Superintendent David Brown.

Eureka Zambori has participated in the event for 12 years.

"The most important and touching thing for me is when you come, probably the last quarter mile, they have all the pictures of the officers sliding the path," Zambori said.

Police Officer Carlos Yanez Jr. was a special guest opening this year's run. He fought for his life after being shot in the line of duty last August. His partner, Officer Ella French, was killed in the same shooting.

"I went by the Ella French sign there. I touched it and I started crying and it's a sad situation," said Jerome Ezell.

But the presence of her partner there marked a special moment for the department.

"They didn't think he was gonna make it when he got shot last year and the fact that he was able to come out here and be our starter is tremendous," said CPD Memorial Foundation Executive Director Philip Cline.

Since 2006, the memorial foundation has raised more than $16 million for families of fallen and seriously injured officers. That money even helps send young ones to school. The department announced Saturday that 22 more kids will have their tuition paid for from pre-school to graduate school.

"That's what this fundraiser is for," Cline said. "To help those families, and our motto is we 'never forget.'"
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