Members of the Southern Macomb Warthogs Chapter 44 presented $5,000 checks to six local police and fire department honor guards on May 5, including the Warren Police Department Honor Guard.

Members of the Southern Macomb Warthogs Chapter 44 presented $5,000 checks to six local police and fire department honor guards on May 5, including the Warren Police Department Honor Guard.

Photo provided by Mike Herr


Warthogs donate $30,000 to local honor guards

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published May 25, 2021

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WARREN — Local police and fire department honor guards rely on fundraisers to support their efforts to recognize those who have served or fallen in the line of duty.

Limitations on gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic made hosting spaghetti dinners, fish fries and other community fundraisers impossible.

Enter the Southern Macomb Warthogs Chapter 44. The motorcycle club with a membership made up of current, retired or reserve police officers and firefighters, corrections officers, prosecutors and court officers makes charitable giving its mission. Through their own charity bingo, they have raised money to support families with children battling illnesses, to purchase tactical litters for local police K-9 teams and to host “Wish with a Warthog” events for children in need at Christmas.

On May 5, they presented six local honor guards with checks for $5,000 to support their operations.

Nick Chakur, president of the Southern Macomb Warthogs Chapter 44, a retired Center Line director of public safety and a former city councilman, said funds were given to honor guards in Warren, Sterling Heights, Clinton Township and Roseville. The Macomb County Sheriff Honor Guard also got a check, and the Troy Fire Department received a $5,000 kickstart for a new honor guard.

“We basically gave them some seed money to start with their unit,” Chakur said. “Because of COVID, I know Roseville usually does a spaghetti dinner, but all of them have not been able to do any fundraising, any really meaningful fundraising. We decided to help them out.”

Gus Ghanam, Warren’s public service director, a member of the Macomb County Sheriff reserves and a Warthog, said honor guard members typically pay for uniforms and other equipment — including bagpipes, drums and other instruments — out of their own pockets.

“It’s a daunting task,” Ghanam said. “We want to give back to the community. What’s more fitting than an honor guard that shows up and respects somebody at their funeral? We felt it is important, for us as a charity, to make sure they have some sort of financial stability.”

“Obviously, it’s much appreciated, especially during this COVID time,” said Capt. Lawrence Garner of the Warren Police Department Honor Guard.

He said Warren’s honor guard typically does one fundraiser a year: an Oktoberfest event that was canceled in 2020, and canceled again for 2021.

“This donation from the Warthogs, it comes at a great time,” Garner said.

The Warren Police Department Honor Guard is self-funded by its members and through fundraising activities. They’re there to support law enforcement agencies and families when officers are killed in the line of duty. They also recognize their own department’s retirees who pass away with ceremonial activities and 21-gun salutes.

Each year, members attend the national ceremony in Washington, D.C., during “Police Week” in mid-May.

Locally, the honor guard pays respect to officer Edward Rea and Detective Sgt. Christopher Wouters, two of the Warren Police Department’s own, killed in the line of duty.

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