Remembering Herbie: Golf outing to benefit late firefighter’s foundation
BY STEVE METSCH firstname.lastname@example.org May 15, 2013 5:56PM
Herbie Johnson (left), 54, a resident of Chicago's Morgan Park community, and a 33-year veteran of the department, is promoted to the rank of captain by Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago on Aug. 10, 2012. | Fire Media Affairs photo
Updated: June 17, 2013 6:04AM
How popular was late Chicago Fire Department Capt. Herbie Johnson?
If one were to use golf as a gauge, consider golf outings usually take place on a single course. And then you have the first Herbie Johnson Golf Classic.
The fundraiser, scheduled for June 7, will be held at five golf courses: Balmoral Woods, Lincoln Oaks and the Lincolnshire Country Club in Crete; Coyote Run in Flossmoor; and University Park Golf Course in the village of the same name.
The plan is to have 128 golfers on each course — for a grand total of 640 — to raise funds for the Herbert T. Johnson Foundation.
Openings for golfers were going fast, said Chicago Fire Department Capt. Jack Nagle, one of Johnson’s longtime friends. It’s a way to have fun, to remember a buddy and to help a good cause, he said.
Johnson, of Chicago’s Morgan Park community, was a 32-year fire department veteran who died Nov. 2 from injuries suffered while fighting a house fire.
The foundation named for him is designed to help families struggling after the loss of a loved one, Nagle said.
The cost for the outing is $125 per person and includes a pre-golf lunch, which will be served from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. Golfing begins with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. Beverage carts will be available on each course.
A post-outing party will begin at 7 p.m. at 115 Bourbon Street, 3359 W. 115th St., Merrionette Park. The $40 cover fee pays for food and an open bar until 11 p.m.
Sponsors include Accurate Printing, Shrader’s Goods, the 100 Club of Chicago, Ignite the Spirit and City Beverage-Chicago.
Johnson is never too far from Nagle’s thoughts. After all, it will be six months in May.
“We’ve been friends forever. We go back to the 1970s at St. Rita High School. That’s a fact,” Nagle said.
“Herbie played a bit of golf. He helped run some golf outings like one for Sept. 11 (the Never Forget Memorial) that’s held in Myrtle Beach. That’s a very big outing,” Nagle said.
Johnson also helped with fire department golf outings, Nagle said.
Now it’s time for his friends to help.
“This is just a bunch of friends of Herbie who are trying to do something special in his memory,” Nagle said.
Lunch will be served at the Lincoln Oaks and Lincolnshire courses “because they share a parking lot,” Nagle said. Golfers then will head to the courses where they are scheduled to play.
For non-golfers, a Herbie Johnson Night at The Cell fundraiser will feature the Sox playing the Atlanta Braves at 7:10 p.m. July 19. Tickets, at the urging of Johnson’s widow, Susan, have been kept affordable.
“She wanted it so families could attend the game,” Nagle said.
Outfield reserved tickets for the game are $20 each. They usually are $26.
For more information on either event, visit www.theherbiejohnsonfoundation.com.