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WGN Backs Out on “Fill the Boot” at Jewel-Osco, But Drive for Muscular Dystrophy Association Continues Today, Arlington Heights

Fri June 03 2016 12:49 pm
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Someone high up at WGN had better plans for Around Town with Ana Friday morning. In a last minute notice Thursday, WGN told Arlington Heights Firefighters Local 3105 that they were cancelling their coverage of the firefighters’ Fill the Boot Drive for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Friday. What pushed out the coverage of the charity drive for MDA? Coverage of the grand opening of a 2.7 mile bike trail in Chicago. The Bloomingdale Trail or 606 that connects Humboldt Park to Bucktown is opening this weekend. Since there was a press conference regarding the bike trail yesterday with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Beth White of the Trust for Public Land, some think some very strong political influence was “twisting WGN’s arm” to cover the bike trail grand opening instead of the muscular dystrophy charity drive. Bottom line? Whatever political benefits occurred in the City of Chicago or whatever cause WGN to cancel, the last minute change of plans caused a big headache for charity organizer and Arlington Heights firefighter Ted Peterson and the sponsors he organized. At the last minute he had to tell sponsors and contributors that the television news coverage of the event was scrapped. With emails and phone calls, he pleaded with WGN to come up with some type of alternative, while he desperately tried to contact sponsor planners in the evening hours to notify them of the change of plans.

Napleton Dodge GM Jody Adams coordinated the donation of a car that would have been used for a rescue extrication demonstration — complete with a $2000 graphics wrap promoting Napleton’s Arlington Heights Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM dealership on Dundee Road. Napleton’s was able to halt the graphics job at the last minute to stop the loss at $900 worth of graphics work. Fortunately, Napleton’s still donated another $2500 to the “Fill the Boot” drive.

Napletons Bam Baby Car
Napleton’s Arlington Heights Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM “Bam Baby” car that was designated for a rescue extrication demonstration by Arlington Heights firefighters.

Arlington Park or Arlington International Racecourse was scheduled to send a racehorse, and hundreds of children from local grade schools were scheduled to arrive at the Jewel-Osco parking lot on Vail Avenue to see the racehorse and view other events. The racehorse and the Arlington Park bugler canceled the event, and children arrived with none of the promised events, except for FireZone.

FireZone — a firehouse experience for kids based out Schaumburg — still arrived at the Jewel-Osco lot, so children had a fun time on their tour of the fire engine that FireZone brought to the event.

Chicago Blackhawk painter Elliott from ArtBeat Live was scheduled to entertain at the event, but his morning appearance was cancelled. Fortunately, he will appear tonight at the AHFD MDA Benefit at Ditka’s Trackside in Arlington Heights from 7pm-12am where he will paint and auction off one of his internationally famous sports paintings. There will also be live music from the band Modern Day Romeos, an appearance by radio personality “Whip” from the Eric & Kathy Show on 101.9 the Mix MC of the event, a live and silent auction, several raffles, and food and beverages provided by other sponsors with 100% of all proceeds going to MDA.

Tonight’s event is open to the public and the money raised provides medical services and summer camps to local children living with Muscular Dystrophy at no cost to their families! There is a donated cover which includes All-U-Can-Drink from our sponsors, appetizers, and entertainment. You can receive a pre-register discount rate of $20 online at or pay $30 at the door. Come out and join the firefighters for a good cause and help put a smile on a local child’s face!

Firefighters will also be at the intersections of Arlington Heights Road and Northwest Highway, and Arlington Heights Road and Palatine Road from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Friday. Give them a pass by and give them support for MDA Fill the Boot.

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