100 Club chapter to benefit police launched in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

100 Club chapter to benefit police launched in Dubuque

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Dubuque now has its own 100 Club chapter, a global non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the families of law enforcement officers and firefighters who died in the line of duty.

Dennis Avenarius is the Dubuque organization's director. As a retired sheriff's deputy and father/father-in-law to active-duty police officers, Avenarius said he can, "attest to the importance of the 100 Club of Dubuque and the support it would bring to the family of those who serve and protect."

The mission of the 100 Club of Dubuque is, "to provide immediate financial support to the families of law enforcement officers, firefighters, volunteer firefighters, EMS providers, and park rangers who died while on duty, or were 'killed in the line of duty', while serving the citizens of Dubuque County," according to the organization's website.

"The 100 Club of Dubuque feels a sense of duty to those who stand behind the badge," the site continues.

The first 100 Club started in the early 1950s in Detroit, following the death of a young police officer, who was killed on active duty. The officer's wife was pregnant at the time and unable to afford her husband's funeral expenses.

"A local car dealer wrote to 100 of his friends requesting they each donate $100," the 100 Club of Dubuque explains on its website. "Each donated $100 and not only were the funeral expenses paid, but the young couple's mortgage was paid off and money set aside for the unborn child's education ... thus the name '100 Club.'"

The costs of different membership levels in the 100 Club of Dubuque are listed on its website HERE: http://www.100clubofdubuque.org

The 100 Club of Dubuque's board of directors will handle all the funds.

The organization's goal is to raise $30,000 by Jan. 2015. Money would go to help a family with funeral expenses, transportation of out-of-state family members, mortgage payments and any other cost associated with losing a loved one and the aftermath thereof.

Also, the organization's website says, "depending on the growth of the fund, a 100 Club Scholarship program may be available for immediate family members of firefighters, EMS providers, volunteer firefighters, volunteer EMS provider, park ranger, and law enforcement officers that wish to continue their education beyond high school."

"It is our hope that payment will not need to be made to the family of someone who has been 'killed in the line of duty,'" the website explains. "The scholarship fund will not only provide financial assistance to family members of public safety officers and firefighters but will also provide awareness to the public of the services available through the 100 Club of Dubuque."

All donations and membership dues go straight to the 100 Club, with no compensation going to the director or any board member.

People wishing to donate can send their tax-deductible donation to 100 Club of Dubuque, 10148 Dixie Drive, Dubuque, IA, 52001

People seeking more information can contact director Dennis Avenarius at 563-583-1323 or via email at dennis3122@msn.com.

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