White House honors Curran for lifetime of service

RobGlassesPUYALLUP — A Puyallup man has been honored by the White House for a lifetime of volunteer community service work with the Machinists Union.

Rob Curran, a union steward who works for the Boeing Co. in Auburn, received a President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for donating more than 4,000 hours of volunteer service.

The award included a letter from President Obama thanking Curran for his “devotion to service and for doing all you can to shape a better tomorrow for our great nation.

“Your volunteer service demonstrates the kind of commitment to your community that moves America a step closer to its great promise,” Obama wrote.

The awards are given by the Corporation for National & Community Service.

Curran is chairman of the Machinists Volunteer Program, which is the community service arm of Machinists Union District Lodge 751. The union’s MVPs last year donated 12,680 hours of community service during 397 activities, supporting such groups as Northwest Harvest, the Salvation Army, Toys for Tots and the United Way, while also building wheelchair ramps to help families of home-bound people.

Curran himself was particularly involved with three Pierce County community service agencies: The Rescue Mission in Tacoma, Project Homeless Connect, which provides services to homeless people and families, and the Toy Rescue Mission, which works to ensure children in low-income families can have gifts for birthdays, Christmas and Easter.

Toy Rescue Mission Executive Director Martha Davis praised Curran for his commitment to volunteer service.

“The dedication from Rob is just amazing,” she said. “The thing about Rob that impresses me the most is that he gets up and works his eight-hour day, then comes here right after work.”

Curran also has played an important role in recruiting other volunteers to serve at events like Project Homeless Connect, Davis said.

“He brings 10 to 15 volunteers every time,” she said. “That’s two or three times a year for seven years.”

“I can count on Rob,” Davis said. “I can call Rob up, he says he’ll do something, and his word is his bond.”

In all, Curran has donated 4,445 hours of community service work through the Machinists Union since 2007, with 820 of those hours coming in 2015.

“Volunteering is my passion,” Curran said. “If I can make life a little better for people, then I will – particularly the kids.”

PrezAwards1Curran was one of 12 Machinists Union members to be honored by the White House for their volunteer service in 2015.

Among them, Brenda Brammer and Vennie Murphy – both of Puyallup – received silver-level President’s Volunteer Service Awards, for giving between 250 and 499 hours of volunteer service during the year. Terri Myette of Edgewood received a bronze-level award for giving between 100 and 249 hours to volunteer service.

“Our union is committed to two things: justice on the job and service to the community,” said IAM 751 President Jon Holden. “The work that Rob and the other MVPs do makes our communities better, and we are all very proud to see them get this kind of recognition for all they do to help other people.”

Originally formed in 1935 by hourly workers at Boeing, District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents nearly 33,000 working men and women at 53 employers across Washington and California.

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