Horse statues auctioned to benefit fallen police officers

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Horses of Honor are up for auction to benefit the families of fallen Chicago police officers, and there's one horse in particular that has some big names behind it.

At first glance, the figures lining Michigan Avenue just look like horse statues. But take a closer look, and you'll see they are much more meaningful than that.

"The Horses of Honor project is a great way to insure that we never forget," Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said.

The 20 horses standing around Chicago are painted in honor of 20 fallen Chicago police officers. Each one is sponsored by a different entity, including one by legendary rock band "Chicago."

"We've received a lot of accolades many times and many cities, but being that this is Chicago and we are 'Chicago', this is very special," said Peter Schivarelli, band manager.

The "Chicago" horse is painted in honor of Officer Thomas Wortham IV. Wortham was gunned down outside his parents' house during a robbery attempt in Oak Park in 2010.

Since then, his family has received the support of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, the group behind Horses of Honor. When the band learned of his story, they knew they had to get involved.

"We are Chicago guys, this is where it all started with the band and it's very significant and honorable to be a part of this cause," said James Pankow, 'Chicago' band member.

And it didn't hurt that Officer Wortham was a fan of the band.

"Much of his music can be found on his iPad/iPod and he did have several of your CDs," said Carolyn Wortham, fallen officer's mother.

Now the officer's family is happy his story may help the families of other officers.

"I think Thomas would be glad that even in the midst of something terrible happening to him, something so wonderful can be done in his name for people he calls his brothers," said Sandra Wortham, fallen officer's sister.

The band started the bidding on their own horse at $10,000.

The auction is live right now. The money raised goes to families of fallen officers and to buy bulletproof vests.

For more on how you can bid on all of the horses of honor, visit:

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