$5 for Fight donations surpass $25,000 matching grant

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OVER THE TOP: A $5,000 donation to the $5 for the Fight Simmons Law Firm matching grant challenge from Coventry Health Care put the effort over the $25,000 goal to win the Simmons grant. Coventry President Roman Kulich (left) and Account Executive Chris Brunner (right) presented the donation to St. Louis Labor Council President Bob Soutier at the council’s executive board meeting earlier this month. – Labor Tribune photo

Coventry Health Care’s $5,000, second $1,000 donation hit the mark

Thanks to two special donations, and the ongoing generosity of Labor Tribune readers, the $5 for the Fight Matching Grant offer from the Simmons Law Firm has surpassed its $25,000 goal raising $27,466. As of May 11, a total of $51,993 was in the Fight Fund available to help members out of work and in need of aid.

“On behalf of the Simmons Firm, we are thrilled to see this response and to have played a part in making it happen. Thanks to the strength and goodwill of the labor community, this is an outstanding result that will help hard working families throughout the St. Louis area,” said Simmons attorney Chris Guinn.

The two “over the top” donations include:

• $5,000 from Coventry Health Care, a firm that serves more than 5 million members in all 50 states across a full range of products and services including group and individual health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid programs, and coverage for specialty services such as workers’ compensation and employee assistance programs. Many, many unions use the company as their health care provider.

• $1,000 second donation to our new “$1,000 Job Foreman” honor roll from a second Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 retiree, Charles Wheeler.

“We are all in this together,” said Roman Kulich, Coventry Health Care president, in making a check presentation to the matching grant effort at the St. Louis Labor Council’s executive board last week. “We are proud to serve our labor union members and felt it important to step up and help in this very worthy effort.”

Wheeler, a 20-year sheet metal worker who retired seven years ago, pointed out that things are indeed difficult now for anyone who doesn’t have work, and that he hoped his donation would encourage others to do their part. “I have a message to those who have already generously given,” he added. “Like the preacher said, dig a little deeper, the need is there!”

And indeed it is. With hundreds of cases still waiting for help, the $5 for the Fight Fund has been a blessing to those who receive help with medicines, food, rent, mortgage payments and urgent medical bills.

One enterprising reader sent a $100 Schnucks gift card to the Labor Tribune as his way of saying “thank you” for our efforts in promoting the Fund. It was turned over to the Fight Fund for a family who needs food help. “That’s yet another enterprising way you can give to the Fight Fund. Every bit counts,” said Managing Editor Dana Spitzer.

CAN YOU ‘DIG A LITTLE DEEPER?’

If you are one of the fortunate men or women who are still working, even though we appreciate that things might be “tight” for you, can you please do as Brother Wheeler suggests and “dig a little deeper” right now to help a union brother or sister out-of-work trying desperately to make ends meet?

Please write a check for whatever you can afford to “$5 for the Fight” knowing that your contribution will be a lifeline to 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; 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: www.labortribune.com, “$5 for the Fight Donations.” Click: “Automatic monthly deduction,” the amount and how many months you want the deduction to be made.

Remember, there are four categories of giving:

Apprentice: $1 - $12 donation/ George Washington Honor Roll

Journeyman: $13-$50 donation/ Andrew Jackson Honor Roll

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

Chief Steward: $100 +/Ben Franklin Honor Roll

 Job Foreman: $1,000 +/Grover Cleveland Honor Roll

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.” From a lot of grateful people, “thank you” for agreeing that “we share because we care for one another.”

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