The annual Bob Martinez Golf Tournament, hosted by District 776 in Fort Worth, TX, is an event everyone looks forward to attending.
One reason is that this is the home district of the IAM’s International President and the members here are extremely proud to call him brother. But the other motivation is that no matter the situation, when the pups at the Guide Dogs of America (GDA) need the Machinists, we happily comply.
“It’s always special to be a part of a great cause like helping raise funds for Guide Dogs of America,” said Martinez. “This year District 776 held another great event that will help GDA fulfill their missing of giving the gift of sight free of charge. I want to thank everyone who participated in this year’s tournament, especially Brother Eloy Rodriguez and all the volunteers who made it possible.”
This year, GDA will receive more than $43,000 from the event to help ensure that that any blind or visually impaired person who needs a guide dog can and will get one, free of charge.
“Every member of our union family knows how important it is to raise money for the Guide Dogs of America. We barely need to ask for donations before our brothers and sisters and reaching into their wallets to give all they can. Throw in a round of golf at a beautiful course like Squaw Creek Golf Course in Willow Park, TX and everyone wins,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Rickey Wallace.
In its seventh year, 118 people on 30 teams competed for prizes and of course, bragging rights. Not just for who had the best score on the green, but rather who raised the most green for the pups.
Tom Olzak and his guide dog, Goliath, said he was privileged to attend and share his story of how his life has changed because of GDA.
“Being around so many passionate and committed people tells me that the act of giving is not lost,” said Olzak. “While I was there I began thinking about how my life would be different if Guide Dogs of America did not exist. The ongoing relationship between the IAM and GDA means we will continue to provide the blind and visually impaired with guide dogs and allow them to travel independently and safely.”