Schaumburg Firefighters Fight Cancer
through Support of Alexian Brothers

"We really wanted to help people in this community."


When Jenna Werdell joined the Schaumburg Professional Firefighters Association three years ago, a few fellow firefighters challenged her to kick-start a fundraising campaign for breast cancer. What started with pink t-shirts grew into the Schaumburg Firefighters Fighting Cancer, a committee of six who soon launched a Pink Tie Ball. The annual event, going on its third year, raises money for cancer research and programs.

"It got started for breast cancer. And now it's for all cancer," says Werdell, who chairs the event. "We would rather do this than do other things on our off days because I think this is really where we're going to help the most people, even with our job being so busy all the time."

The Schaumburg Professional Firefighters Association generously donated $10,000 of its 2013 Pink Tie Ball proceeds to the Alexian Brothers Cancer Institute and plans to continue supporting the Institute's programs and services with future event proceeds.

"Not only is Alexian Brothers amazing and has an amazing reputation, but we take the residents that we serve to the hospital there," says Werdell. "We love that. We really wanted to help people in this community."

Cancer touches everyone, she adds. One of the firefighters she works with has brain cancer. Her aunt and close family friend passed away  from breast cancer. Her boyfriend's father just died from cancer. "This disease is the most vicious thing anybody's ever seen," she says.

The Schaumburg Professional Firefighters Association hopes to double its event proceeds in 2014 and increase turnout at the Pink Tie Ball from 350 to 500 guests. "I have faith in us and in the event, so hopefully we'll be ready to rock and roll," Werdell says.

To learn more about the Alexian Brothers Cancer Institute, visit For more information on the Pink Tie Ball, email Werdell at or visit


Pictured above from left: Ruth Todd, Julie Clark, Eric Vitols, Jenna Werdell, Mike Solberg, Jane Cosentino, Don McCown, Elaine Straub, Kyle Marcussen and Ron Lazar.