Guide Dogs of America (GDA) recently honored IAM General Vice President Philip J. Gruber, the IAM Midwest Territory, and members of St. Louis IAM District 837 for their 2017 contributions to the organization’s mission of providing the blind and visually-impaired with the gift of sight.
Gruber, along with his Chief of Staff Steve Galloway, were on hand as GDA dedicated its Sylmar, CA campus concession stand to the IAM Midwest Territory. GDA President Russ Gittlen also presented the territory with an engraved plaque “with gratitude and appreciation for all that the team has contributed to GDA over the years.”
“The IAM Midwest Territory is pleased, honored and humbled to accept this award and dedication from Guide Dogs of America, the IAM’s charitable organization of choice for more than 70 years,” said Gruber. “We as a territory believe wholeheartedly in GDA’s mission of empowerment and independence for the blind and visually-impaired. It is an honor to give each year to an organization that gives so much in return.”
IAM District 837 was recognized for their members’ $48,000 “team sponsorship” of guide dog recipient Stan Holtman and his dog “Edge.” The St. Louis district’s continued generosity to GDA covered all of Stan and Edge’s expenses, including breeding, training, veterinary care, travel expenses and room and board. The district received an engraved plaque acknowledging their members’ extraordinary generosity with a photo of their sponsored team, plus an opportunity to meet Stan and Edge at an on-site graduation ceremony.
“It was such an honor to accept this award on behalf of all the members of IAM District 837,” said Directing Business Representative Steve McDerman. “It was especially an honor to give the gift of sight to Stan through his guide dog Edge, and then have the opportunity to meet them and witness their completion of the GDA program. We wish them both much success.”
Guide Dogs of America provides blind and visually-impaired men and women with increased independence, confidence and mobility through an expertly-trained guide dog. Their services are provided free of charge to residents in the U.S. and Canada.
For more information, visit their website at www.GuideDogsofAmerica.org.