The extraordinary work of Guide Dogs of America (GDA) was summed up by a recent graduate in an IAM video about the annual William W. Winpisinger Charity Banquet in Las Vegas, NV. “He has changed my life,” declared a beaming Luetta Johnson of Lincoln NE, who was paired up with her dog in April at the GDA breeding and training facility in Sylmar, CA.
In addition to interviews with GDA graduates, the IAM video takes a tour of fundraising events held during the weekend-long celebration of the organization that was founded by an IAM member more than 65 years ago, including the Hawgs for Dawgs motorcycle run, golf tournament and a new addition for this year, the skeet shooting competition.
The weekend culminated with the annual banquet, where GDA trainers, breeders and graduates are saluted by more than 1,000 supporters from IAM locals and districts as well as IAM-represented companies. “But this isn’t about union and it isn’t about company,” said GVP Rich Michalski, who was presented with a 2012 Gift of Sight Award. “It’s about community. And Guide Dogs is touching people in communities across this country every day.”