IAM District Lodge 6, Local Lodge 388, and Local Lodge 1191 sponsored a recent Quad City Storm minor-league hockey game in Moline, Illinois, to raise money for Guide Dogs of America/Tender Loving Canines (GDA/TLC).
The union also sponsored custom, one-of-a-kind, Machinists Union and GDA/TLC branded jerseys for the players. After the game, the game-worn jerseys were auctioned to benefit GDA/TLC, and now replicas of the jerseys are only being sold for a limited time. Fifty percent of the online jersey sale proceeds go directly to GDA/TLC.
Machinists Union member volunteers sold foam pucks for “chuck a puck,” where spectators can throw pucks onto the ice to win prizes from different businesses. They also handed out free GDA/TLC branded “thunder sticks” to the first 1,000 attendees and sold raffle tickets for a jersey.
“Local Lodges 388 and 1191 have sponsored this great GDA/TLC fundraiser event for many years,” said IAM Grand Lodge Representative Rick Mickschl. “The memberships of both locals attend and cheer for the Quad City Storm Hockey Team, all while raising funds for GDA. This event is ‘Machinists Strong’ and shows that we are unionists with passion and support for the great mission of Guide Dogs of America.”
Approximately 300 IAM members were in the crowd for the Machinists Union night, and 40 members worked as volunteers. Many also participated in the post-game live player jersey auction.
“Visibility of our union in the community is so important,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “This important event showcases the huge effort we put into raising money for GDA/TLC, a cause so close to many IAM members and community members’ hearts.
Midwest Territory Special Representative Brian Simmons was there with guide-dog-in-training Sheldon. Guide dog recipients Susie Halverson and Vanessa Grzywa attended as special guests with their guide dogs and performed the game-starting puck drop.
The guide dogs were also honored on the ice during a segment typically attributed to first responders. Because the dogs are their handlers’ first responders, they received this special recognition.
This was the fourth year the district and locals sponsored a Quad City Storm game to benefit GDA/TLC. The union has a special connection to the Storm. Retired IAM Local Lodge 388 member John Dawson owns the team.
“My experience in leadership with the Machinist Union prepared me for owning a hockey team,” said Dawson. “And it’s those good-paying, union jobs that give you the finances to make your dreams come true.”
Online jersey sales will end on December 20th at midnight.
The funds raised from the Machinists Union sponsored game night, live auction, and replica jersey sales will be totaled and announced shortly after jersey sales end.