Georgia Local 709 Memorial Ride Raises Over $3,000 for Guide Dogs

Riders lined up to support Guide Dogs of America at IAM Local 709’s annual fundraising event.

This year’s Jeff Goen Memorial Ride for Guides, hosted by IAM Local 709 in Marietta, GA, took in over $3,000 for Guide Dogs of America (GDA).

The annual charity event honors former Local 709 President Jeff Goen, who lost his battle with prostate cancer in 2009. Seventeen motorcyclists participated in the 71-mile ride. Many others took part in a barbeque, silent auction, live music, and car and truck show.

“I’d like to thank everyone who volunteered to make the day a success,” said IAM Local 709 President Perry Gulledge. “Even though Jeff is not with us, we were able to pay tribute to him while enjoying a nice ride to raise money for the school.”

The proceeds go to GDA, which is a non-profit organization that provides guide dogs to visually impaired men and women free of charge. An IAM member who lost his sight and was refused a guide dog founded the school over 60 years ago. Today it is the union’s number one charity and benefits from IAM fundraisers across the U.S. and Canada.

Guide Dogs of America does not receive any funding from the government and relies solely upon donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, chapters, clubs and other non-profit organizations. It costs $42,000 to fully train one guide dog.

Photos of the event are available on the IAM Local 709 Facebook page.