IAM-Represented Union Machinists Raise $299,000 For Guide Dogs Of America
National AFL-CIO News Now Editor’s Note: The following is a Cross-Post from The Machinists News, a Blog focused on News of Interest to Union Members of Machinists District Lodge 751:
(LAS VEGAS) - International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM) District Lodge 751 has raised nearly $299,000 for Guide Dogs of America in 2012.
District President Tom Wroblewski presented the California-Based Charity with a check for $298,949.66 at the annual Guide Dogs Banquet that was held on November 17th in Las Vegas.
That’s a Record One-Year Fundraising Total for District 751, which is Guide Dogs of America’s Top Fundraiser across North America.
“It is an honor to lead a District with so many selfless individuals,” Wroblewski said. “Barely a week goes by that someone isn’t giving their own time to support an event for Guide Dogs of America.”
The Union raised the money through Voluntary Payroll Deductions and through Community Fundraisers that included a Poker Tournament, a Golf Tournament, a Fun Run, a Car Show, a Drag-Racing Event, a Horseshoes Tournament, a Motorcycle-Poker Run and Prize Drawings.
Wroblewski – who was honored at the banquet and presented with a 2012 Gift of Sight Award recognizing his efforts on behalf of the Organization - has “displayed extraordinary loyalty to the mission of Guide Dogs of America,” said International IAM President Tom Buffe.
Over the past four years, with Wroblewski, as District 751 President, has helped raised more than $1 million for Guide Dogs of America. The Charity used that money to breed, raise and train 24 Guide Dogs, to be paired with people from across North America who are blind or have impaired vision.
“Before the last (Union) event of the year is completed, it’s only a matter of days before the next one is in the planning stages,” Wroblewski said, as he accepted the award.
He said one of the highlights of his involvement with Guide Dogs of America came in 2010, when he attended the graduation ceremony for Dennis Meech and his guide dog, Lefty. Meech is a District 751 Machinist from Goldendale, who was Blinded in a Motorcycle Accident on his way home from work in August 2007. “I got to see first-hand the joy our Member had upon gaining back his freedom after receiving a Guide Dog. It was a great day and a moment I will never forget,” Wroblewski said.
Originally formed in 1935 to represent Hourly Workers at the Boeing Company, IAM District Lodge 751 now represents more than 33,000 Working Men and Women at 48 Employers across the States of Washington, Oregon and California.
In 2011, Members of the Machinists Volunteer Program, the Union’s Community Service Arm, gave more than 10,000 Hours of Service to their Communities.