Walk to honor Machinist, benefit Tacoma mission

FEDERAL WAY – Machinists Union members are joining with The Rescue Mission in Tacoma for a walkathon to benefit the mission’s community service work.

VennieMugAlong with raising money, the first Vennie Murphy Walkathon also will honor a member of Machinists Union District Lodge 751 who has been an outstanding volunteer at the Tacoma mission since the ‘90s.

The 5-kilometer walk will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 6 at Federal Way High School. Registration is $15 for adults, and $5 for youth under 16.

Murphy – a retired Boeing Co. worker from Puyallup – was honored as one of the mission’s volunteers of the year for 2012.

“I don’t know of anybody who’s had as much faithfulness about serving, and has been so influential in bringing in other people to serve,” said David Curry, The Rescue Mission’s chief executive officer. “We need lots of Vennies.”

In particular, Curry credited Murphy with creating the partnership between the mission and the Machinists Volunteer Program, which is the community service arm of District 751. Union “MVPs” help prepare and serve Saturday and Sunday breakfasts two weekends each month, while also throwing periodic Sunday dinners for the mission’s clients.

Murphy is one of the union’s top volunteers. In 2012, he received a gold-level President’s Volunteer Service Award from the White House, which is the top award given by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. It goes only to volunteers have given more than 500 hours of their time in a year to community service, which Murphy accomplished in 2011.

“Vennie’s been an example and an inspiration for a lot of us at the union,” said Robley Evans, who is chairman of District 751’s MVP Committee. “He’s also a great friend. We couldn’t think of a better way to honor him for all he’s done in the community than to have a fundraising event in his name.”

For details, go online at www.rescue-mission.org/walk-a-thon

The Rescue Mission is a not-for-profit organization based in Tacoma. Guided by its Christian heritage and belief in the human spirit, the mission works with people at all stages of addiction, homelessness or other life challenges, offering proven services, support and facilities. Originally founded in 1912 in Tacoma, The Rescue Mission has grown to six locations, serving men, women and children in all parts of Pierce County.

Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at Boeing, District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents more than 33,000 working men and women at 48 employers across Washington, Oregon and California. Over the past four years, District 751 volunteers have collected more than $1 million for Guide Dogs of America, including a record $299,000 raised in 2012.

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