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Nick Grogan
FF & Engineer
With niece and nephew.

The Ignite the Spirit Nicholas Grogan Memorial Scholarship

Ignite the Spirit is a firefighter charity and fundraising engine committed to community involvement and betterment, assisting its brothers and sisters of the Chicago Fire Department, and helping the families of the fallen fight on, through, and forward.

Twenty-Eighteen marks the seventh year of this $3,000 scholarship.

For its inspiration, for inspiration: Read on.

Years after his passing Nick Grogan’s wife Betty still talks about the love of her life like he’s running for mayor, but for the man Nick was and the strength he is mayor's small time.

No one knew Nick better than his better half. That said, we’ll shut up.

Betty Grogan:

“Nick Grogan was a Chicago firefighter/engineer for 26 years. He was a regular guy, one of those everyday heroes in every firehouse in every city. No flash, no fanfare. He did his job, he loved his job.

So why has Ignite the Spirit chosen to honor his memory by creating and offering an annual, educational scholarship? Maybe a few reasons.

After more than twenty years on the job Nick’s health turned.

First he had corrective surgery on his feet due to a lifelong battle with arthritis.

When the original surgeries were unsuccessful additional surgeries were required.

Portions of one foot amputated.

Then, in early 2006, he was diagnosed with stage-4 lung cancer.

You’re thinking another poor guy with bad health—no wonder the memorial.

Wrong—the heart and spirit Nick brought to the job is being memorialized. During all of his health setbacks he only focused on one thing—how quickly he could get back to work.

Play the cards you’re dealt—it’s what he lived.

And taught.

He wouldn’t let a “little thing” like cancer deter him from doing the job he so enjoyed. And it was only when he felt he was unable to do the job 110 percent—and risk the lives of his firefighter family—that he immediately, and reluctantly, went into premature retirement.

Off the job Nick was a lifelong learner—a self-taught woodworker, painter, photographer and golfer. At his retirement dinner Ignite the Spirit made their first endowment of this scholarship.

Nick’s daughters Meghan and Nicole continue their father’s tradition, his thirst for knowledge and education. Meghan is giving back as a first-grade teacher at a low-income school and Nicole started her journey toward becoming a doctor, entering medical school.

Not a superstar by media or social measurements—a regular guy who loved his family, his brotherhood, his chase for knowledge. Nick lived every day overcoming adversity, planned to beat the odds at every turn.

Memorialize a life well-lived—not cut short."

Sound, strong. Always.

To that, to Nick, may your body rest in peace.

Your example’s in use.

To help Nick's scholarship:

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Albums: Inspiration


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