SEATTLE — Members of Machinists Union District Lodge 751 raised more than $40,000 for Guide Dogs of America in June with a series of community events.
That figure is significant, because it takes a little more than $40,000 to breed, train and place one service dog with a blind or vision-impaired person, said District 751 Tom Wroblewski.
“The efforts of our members last month made it possible for one person to have years of increased freedom and independence,” he said. “Their hard work, and the generosity of our sponsors, is making a real difference in the lives of real people.”
The union raised money with four community events in June:
- A fun run in Everett, which raised more than $12,000, and was sponsored by the union’s Women’s Committee;
- A motorcycle poker run that started in Marysville and Lacey, ended in Seattle and raised more than $12,000;
- A Tulalip Casino poker tournament, sponsored by Machinists Union Local Lodge 751-C, which raised more than $9,000; and
- A prize drawing — sponsored by local lodges in Richland, Spokane and Wenatchee — which raised more than $7,000.
The Local 751-C poker tournament was noteworthy in that it was a first-time event, Wroblewski said. The Eastern Washington locals also set a fundraising record this year with their annual prize drawing.
“I’m continually impressed by the effort our members make on behalf of Guide Dogs,” Wroblewski said. “Their creativity and commitment is inspiring.”
District 751 is the top fundraiser in North America for Guide Dogs of America, which is a California-based charity that provides service dogs, free of charge, to people who are blind or have impaired vision from across the United States and Canada.
The union will have four more community fundraising events in support of Guide Dogs of America this summer:
- The 21st annual Guide Dogs of America Charity Golf Tournament is this Sunday (July 15) at Willows Run Golf Course in Redmond;
- The ninth annual Local 751-E Shoes for Puppies horseshoe tournament will be Aug. 4 at the Red Dog Saloon near Renton;
- The eighth annual Local 751-A Bill Baker Memorial Steel & Wheels SuperShow is Aug. 11 at the district’s Everett Union Hall; and
- The union is selling discount tickets for its annual “Dogs Days” drag racing event, held Aug. 17-19 in conjunction with Pacific Raceways in Kent.
Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at the Boeing Co., District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents some 32,000 working men and women at 48 employers across Washington, Oregon and California. In 2011, members of the union’s Machinists Volunteer Program gave more than 10,000 hours of their time to community service, while other volunteers collected more than $263,000 for Guide Dogs of America.
To learn more about District 751, read the Machinists News.