Connecticut Local Gives Needy Families the Bird

Local 1871 Shop Steward Bill Gilday (left with yellow bucket) and Local 1871 Vice President Pat Buzzee (right with yellow Bucket) greet workers at Electric Boat in Groton, CT, while collecting for the local’s 20th annual Turkey Drive.

Local 1871 in Groton, CT, completed its 20th year of providing Thanksgiving baskets for out-of-work members and needy families in the community. The baskets included complete Thanksgiving dinners and were supplied at no cost to working families that might not otherwise enjoy a traditional holiday dinner in the current economy.

The baskets were made possible through donations by IAM members and others working at Electric Boat in Groton. “The idea grew out of the food pantry that began in a garage during a strike in 1988,” said Local 1871 Vice President Pat Buzzee, who led the collection effort. “One of our officers, James ‘Jimbo’ Grady, had the idea to supply a full dinner to every family using the food pantry during the holiday. Local 1871 Secretary-Treasurer John Papski continues to lead the way making sure the turkey drive is a success each year.”

Local 1871 members provided 50 baskets for families with additional proceeds going to fund the local food pantry. “Thanks to members like Jimbo Grady, families that might not have the traditional holiday meal get to share not only the necessities but things they might not otherwise have during these tough times,” said District 26 DBR Everett Corey. “Pat and John have continued that tradition in the true IAM spirit of ‘Service to the Community.’