Eastern Wash. Machinsts raise $8,761 for charity

RICHLAND — Machinists Union members in Eastern Washington raised a record $8,761 for Guide Dogs of America with their annual charity raffle earlier this summer.

FunRun2This year’s total was roughly $3,000 more than previous record, set in 2014 by activists in Machinists Union Local Lodges 86, 1123 and 1951.

“It’s a group effort,” said Ken Howard, IAM 751’s staff assistant for Eastern Washington. “Every local did a little bit better than we did last year.”

The Eastern Washington locals, which are affiliated with Machinists Union District Lodge 751 in Seattle, are on track to break their all-time Guide Dogs of America fundraising efforts, with two more charity events planned for this summer.

Local 86 in Spokane will host its third annual Guide Dogs of America trap shoot on Aug. 22 at the Spokane Gun Club in Greenacres. Registration for the shoot is $70.

And starting Aug. 1, Local 1951 members at Pexco and Republic Services will sell tickets for a Guide Dogs charity drawing, which will be held on Sept. 15.

“Our goal is to go over $12,000 this year in Eastern Washington, and we’re well on our way,” Howard said.

District 751 is the top fundraiser for Guide Dogs of America, the California-based charity that provides service dogs and training in their use free of charge to people who are blind or have impaired vision from across the United State and Canada. Over the past six years, the union has raised nearly $1.8 million for the charity.

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 34,000 working men and women at 52 employers across Washington and California. They are served by a network of seven local lodges that includes Local 86 in Spokane, Local 1123 in Wenatchee and Local 1951 in Richland.

Check out our award-winning IAM 751 YouTube channel.

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