Banquet Honors Guide Dogs Fundraisers

IAM General Vice President Dora Cervantes and IAM General Secretary-Treasurer Robert Roach, Jr., hold a check for over $50,000 to Guide Dogs of America (GDA). IAM districts and locals from around the U.S. and Canada presented contributions to GDA that were raised through fundraisers at the 34th annual William W. Winpisinger Charity Banquet in Las Vegas.

The IAM’s charity, Guide Dogs of America (GDA), honored fundraisers and presented its highest honor, the “Gift of Sight Award,” to TCU-IAM National President Robert Scardelletti, New England Motor Freight Chairman Myron “Mike” Shevell and IAM District 15/Local 447 Area Director Russ Gittlen at the 34th annual William W. Winpisinger Charity Banquet in Las Vegas.

The “Gift of Sight” Award is given annually to recipients who have shown an extraordinary commitment to supporting GDA, which provides professionally-trained guide dogs, free of charge, to blind and visually-impaired individuals across North America.

“We’re here tonight to honor those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help give a lifeline to countless men and women,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger, who presided over the banquet. “This is about giving back, and these three men more than deserve the accolades they’re receiving tonight.”

More than 1,000 people attended the banquet, 280 people participated in the charity golf tournament, over 100 took part in the Hawgs for Dogs Motorcycle Ride and more than 60 competed in the Sporting Clay event hosted by Henderson, NV Local 845. IAM District 15 Directing Business Representative Jim Conigliaro, Sr., and his friend Gus Larima of Brooklyn, NY won a customized 2014 Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

The week’s events combined to raise up to 25 percent of GDA’s annual budget. It costs more than $42,000 to train a guide dog and provide instruction for the guide dog user.

Tuesday, December 2 is National Giving Day, also known as Giving Tuesday. Please consider making an online tax-deductible donation to GDA.

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