2014 ‘$5 for the Fight’ launched with $25,000 challenge from Simmons Law

121002_five_dollar_ap_328Moolah Shrine Circus makes donation offer

The 2014 $5 for the Fight fund drive to help out-of-work union families has been launched with another $25,000 matching grant commitment from the Simons Law Firm, and a family opportunity to visit the circus, have a ball while helping the Fight Fund:

The Simmons Law Firm, for the third year, has offered a challenge to the Labor Movement: raise $25,000 for out-of-work families and they will match with a $25,000 donation to the Fight Fund. The firm has already donated $50,000 in matching challenge grants in 2012 and 2013.

The Moolah Shrine Circus has agreed to donate $5 from every $15 general admission ticket to the Fight Fund for the upcoming annual circus coming to the St. Charles Family Arena March 20-23. And to sweeten the deal, for every adult ticket Moolah Shrine will donate a free child’s ticket for anyone under 12. There will be seven shows.

However, in order for the Fight Fund to get the donation, tickets must be purchased through Mark Staffne, IBEW 1439 business representative, who is handling the special circus donation for the Fight Fund.

Tickets can be purchased individually or in books of ten. Checks should be made payable to Moolah Shrine and sent to Mark at IBEW 1439, 2121 59th Street, St. Louis, MO 63110 or you can call him at 314-520-1128.

Show times for the Moolah Shrine Circus are Thur., March 20 at 7 p.m.; Sat., March 22 at 10 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sun., March 23 at 1 and 6 p.m. The general admission tickets are good for any of the seven shows.


“We are deeply grateful to the Simmons Law Firm for their commitment to the working union families in our community,” said Bob Soutier, president of the St. Louis Labor Council.

“Their financial help has gone a long way to helping our union families who, while looking for work, have serious financial needs like mortgage payments, rent, medical bills, etc. that have to be met. Their help has helped a lot of our members.”


As a result of your generous donations, 418 union families from 66 different locals received some form of financial help last year through the $5 for the Fight campaign.

The Fight Fund provided $88,949 (which is down from the $116,147 in 2012). An additional $6,069 was provided to help union families from several other sources: United Way’s Laid-Off Workers Fund, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562 special donation and Sheet Metal Workers Local 36’s Metalworking Industry Fund.

As a reflection of our economy and the slow job recovery, the total funds raised last year from all sources ($95,018) was 32 percent behind the $138,856 raised in 2012.

Since the Fight Fund was launched in 1996, through 2013 a total of $878,540 has been raised to help initially, striking machinists at McDonnell-Douglas and then out-of-work families once the machinists’ strike was settled. The Labor Tribune has set an unofficial goal of $1 million; that leaves only $121,460 to be raised.


Here’s how you can help out-of-work union families

If you can help out-of-work families facing financial crisis, some large, some small, please right now write a check for whatever you can afford to “$5 for the Fight” knowing that your contribution will help someone in desperate need of help. There’s three ways to give:

Mail: Check/money order to “$5 for the Fight” mailed to: $5 for the Fight, c/o St. Louis Labor Council, 3301 Hollenberg Drive, Bridgeton, MO 63044; please include your union affiliation.

• On linewww.labortribune.com, click “$5 for the Fight Donations” that takes you to a secure payment site.

• Reoccurring credit card donation: go to www.labortribune.com, click “$5 for the Fight Donations” to go to a secure donations page, check the “Automatic monthly deduction” and amount. Each month your designated donation will automatically be deducted from your credit card.


Remember, there are nine categories of giving:

Apprentice – $1 to $12/ George Washington Honor Roll

Journeyman – $13-50/Andrew Jackson Honor Roll

Steward – $51-$99/ Ulysses S. Grant Honor Roll

Chief Steward – $100 +/Ben Franklin Honor Roll

Job Foreman- $500+ / William McKinley Honor Roll

General Foreman – $1,000 +/ Grover Cleveland Honor Roll

Major Donors – $2,500 +

In Memoriam – to honor a loved one or friend or fellow union member.


If your gift moves you from one category to another, your will automatically move into the appropriate honor roll.

Remember, 100 percent of donation goes into the “Fight Fund.” All efforts to promote and service the Fund are donated by the Labor Council, the United Way and the Labor Tribune. From a lot of grateful people, “thank you” for agreeing that “we share because we care for one another.”


If you are in need of emergency financial help, please don’t be too proud to ask for assistance. There are two ways to get help:

First, contact your union who will only verify membership. They will not ask what the need is. The union then sends your name on to the United Way’s labor liaison staff.

Second, if for some reason you don’t feel comfortable calling your union, you can call the United Way’s Help Line direct — 314-539-4189. They will discuss your need and process requests in line with established criteria. However, they will verify membership with your local before any processing starts.

All contacts are strictly confidential!

In addition to the “$5 for the Fight” funds, the United Way has set aside some monies to help as well. Plus, the United Way can make referrals to other agencies where specific kinds of help and services are available at no cost.

The Fight Honor Roll is published the first week of each month in the Labor Tribune to acknowledge the kindness and generosity of donors.

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