General Manager Peter Wilt spoke at the Luncheon on Tuesday.
Brian Kersey

FireWorks for Kids Foundation names three new board members

CHICAGO - The FireWorks for Kids Foundation, the charitable arm of the Chicago Fire, today introduced the three newest members of its Board of Directors at the organization's annual Season Kickoff Luncheon, held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago. The addition of Debra Augle, Tony Lopez and Jonathan Shapiro to the FWFK Board of Directors boosts the group's active and honorary membership to 13 members for the 2005/06 year, allowing the charity to keep up with the growth that it has enjoyed since its inception in 1997.

"The addition of these three quality individuals expands the board's reach into and representation of the community," said FireWorks for Kids Foundation President Peter Wilt. "Debra, Tony and Jonathan have all demonstrated the desire to support the mission of the FireWorks For Kids Foundation and we are thrilled to add them to our board. The real winners are the kids who will ultimately benefit from their knowledge, expertise and guidance."

"With the FireWorks for Kids Foundation set to take on some exciting new challenges and projects of unprecedented stature in the years ahead, we are proud to welcome three new members in Debra, Tony and Jonathan that bring vast experience in their communities and unique resources to our group," said FireWorks For Kids Foundation CEO Donald Ortale. "They will no doubt be tremendous assets to the Foundation, which continues in its goal to benefit Chicagoland children through increased recreational and educational opportunities."

Debra Augle, a longtime resident of the Chicago Southland, has held the position of Treasurer for the Village of Bridgeview for the past five years. Prior to her work with the community that will serve as the new home of the Fire beginning in 2006, Augle spent 20 years in the financing business with Bridgeview Bank, where she began as a bank teller and worked her way up to a position as a retail banking officer for the business's three branches. In addition to her work in the professional spectrum, Augle is a member of the Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau and has also been involved in working with local schools and law enforcement to develop prevention programs to keep children away from the dangers of drug use and crime. Augle resides in Bridgeview, where she resides with her husband, David, and two children, Amy (18) and Christopher (16).

"I work with a lot of grants in my position with the Village, and I always try to gear them towards kids," said Augle. "Anything to help out children I try to do, so I'm thrilled with this opportunity that the FireWorks for Kids Foundation will give me."

Tony Lopez brings to the FireWorks for Kids Foundation vast experience in philanthropic causes all across the Chicagoland area. Just some of Lopez's previous work with community organizations includes his time as a member of the Advisory Council in the City of Chicago's Office of Latino Affairs, a stint serving as a board member with the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement and his considerable work with the YMCA, with whom he currently serves on the Metro Board of Managers for YMCA of Chicago after serving as a board member with the Pilsen YMCA for 14 years - including 12 years as its President - where he spearheaded an effort that resulted in the construction of a new 65,000-square foot YMCA facility. Professionally, Lopez is in his eighth year as the President of Lopez Financial Consultants, a money management and financial planning firm based in Chicago, and has worked in financial planning for the last 20 years. Lopez resides in Darien along with his wife, Beth, and six children - Nicole (17), Jose (11), Ricardo (8), Christian (6), Carlos (5) and Danny (3).

"I've had some hands on work with the FireWorks for Kids Foundation over the last three years, including projects involving youth soccer in Darien and the Naperville Ball Relay," said Lopez. "This new position fits in with my philosophy of working with kids and helping kids. The FireWorks For Kids Foundation has that appeal. I'm excited to be a part of anything we can do to help children become active and live a little better lifestyle to help them be healthy adults."

Jonathan Shapiro has spent 15 years in the advertising and marketing fields, the last eight of which he has served as the President of Creative Promotional Partners, a Chicago-based advertising firm. Prior to his current position, Shapiro spent seven years in the advertising industry in Chicago, including stints with Cox Broadcasting and Leo Burnett. Outside of work, Shapiro is involved in the community through his membership in the synagogue board at Temple Judea Mizpah in Skokie. Shapiro lives in the Norwood Park area of Chicago and has two children - Jacob (10) and Julia (6).

"I'm honored and thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful organization that does such great work within the Chicagoland community," Shapiro said. "I look forward to contributing to the great works that the FireWorks For Kids Foundation provides."

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