2019 Niagara-Orleans Labor Council’s Annual Labor’s Night At The Races Fundraiser ‘Breaks Own Record,’ Brings In $16,800 - Its Raised $132,300 Over 11 Years To Benefit A Variety Of United Way Of Greater Niagara Programs
(RANSOMVILLE, NEW YORK) – No record set seems to be safe when it comes to the outstanding job the Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Central Labor Council does regarding its Labor’s Night at the Races Fundraiser that’s held yearly at Ransomville Speedway.
And it shouldn’t be a surprise to all that the Labor Council sets a new fundraising record once the cars run the dirt-racing track up in Niagara County. The recently-held 2019 event raised $116,800 - bringing its 11-year total to an amazing $132,300, all that will go to and have gone to help administer a variety of United Way of Greater Niagara programs that benefit Working People, their families and children across the region.
“We ‘just keep exceeding our goal and that tells me that there’s hope,’” Niagara-Orleans Labor Council President Jim Briggs told WNYLaborToday.com. “This is ‘very rewarding to know that its impact will benefit those who most need it.’”
The Labor Council’s Annual unique dirt track car racing event had set a new record in 2018 by raising $15,500. Previous to that, the Labor’s Night at the Races’ fundraising total had been broken by about $1,000 in each of the last three years.
When the dust settles, the dollars raised goes to benefit 44 community programs that are funded by the United Way across the Western New York County. Those programs include - but are not limited to, the Boy’s and Girl Scouts organizations, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, youth counseling services, credit counseling services and a variety of family and health services.
“I am ‘so overwhelmed with gratitude,’” United Way of Greater Niagara/Niagara-Orleans Labor Council Labor Liaison Bill Jakobi told Your On-Line Labor Newspaper. “It is ‘so great to see all of Labor come together to help their communities - and it is a great tribute to Labor who support their communities the best they can.’”
A total of 700 tickets (at a cost of $17 for adults, $10 for children and a $15 ticket that did not offer a food opportunity) were sold for the event - and 645 walked through the gates of the speedway on the night of the event, Jakobi said. A cookout was held before the race and a variety of food was offered as part of the ticket.
“It’s ‘an awesome thing,’” Jakobi continued, “and ‘it takes a lot of hard work to put it all together, but the people who attend go back to their workplaces or Union Hall and tell everyone what a blast they had - which makes more want to attend (the following year).’”
“I think my ‘most favorite thing about Labor’s Night at the Races is the comradery and solidarity of the Niagara-Orleans Labor Council’s Labor Unions and their Members who come out for the event.’ ‘We get the chance to talk about our issues and our goals and introduce the next generation to the Union Movement,’” Briggs said.
As added attraction, a number of Union Members own and drive cars at the Ransomville Track for the Labor’s Night at the Races event, including those from the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) Ironworkers Local 9, Laborers Local 91 and the Steelworkers.
Niagara-Orleans AFL-CIO Labor Council President Briggs and Jakobi also made it a point to single out those businesses and Friends of Labor who annually help support Labor’s Night at the Races, including its major sponsors: BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York; the Law Firm of Lewis & Lewis; the Law Firm of Maxwell and Murphy and M&T Bank.
“I just want to give out a ‘huge Thank You’ to everyone who attended and supported Labor’s Night at the Races,” Briggs said. “And I want to ‘extend a special thanks’ to BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Lewis and Lewis, Maxwell and Murphy and M&T Bank. ‘Our success would not be realized without them.’”