District 751 sets record for Guide Dogs fundraising
SEATTLE — Volunteers connected with Machinists Union District Lodge 751 raised $384,112 for Guide Dogs of America in 2013, which is an all-time record.
The fundraising total was announced at Guide Dogs of America’s annual fundraising banquet in November, where Tania Finlayson also was honored.
Finalyson — who is the wife of District 751 member Ken Finlayson — personally raised $31,000 for Guide Dogs of America with her “Oregon Dash for Puppy Cash.” Finlayson, who has cerebral palsy, made a 300-mile wheelchair trip between Everett and Portland in June.
Finlayson’s goal was to raise $42,000, which would be enough to breed, raise and train one guide dog to be matched with one human partner. At the banquet, it was announced that three anonymous donors had stepped forward to donate the remaining $11,000 to her total.
Finlayson was far from the only person to go the extra mile for Guide Dogs in 2013, however.
Local lodge fundraisers from Everett to Spokane raised record totals during the year. They included:
- Local 751-C’s “All in for Guide Dogs” Hold ‘Em Tournament at Tulalip;
- Local 751-A‘s annual Bill Baker Memorial Steel n’ Wheels Supershow in Everett;
- Puppy Putt, District 751’s annual motorcycle ride from Marysville and Lacey to Seattle;
- The Flight for Sight fun run in Everett, sponsored by the District 751 Women’s Committee;
- Local 751-E‘s “Shoes for Puppies” horseshoe tournament in Renton;
- District 751’s annual Guide Dogs of America Charity Golf Tournament in Redmond;
District 751 is the No. 1 fundraiser across North America for Guide Dogs of America, a California-based charity that provides guide dogs and training in their use free of charge to people who are blind or have impaired vision from across the United States and Canada. Over the past five years, District 751 volunteers have raised nearly $1.5 million for the charity. The previous one-year fundraising record was $298,949, set in 2012.
Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at the Boeing Co., District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents nearly 33,000 working men and women at 49 employers across Washington, Oregon and California.
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