Organizers raise $1,360 for $5 for Fight Fund
In a spontaneous show of union solidarity, three members of Electrical Workers Local 1 held their first Chili Cook-off for building trades members, creating a venue for member-to-member relationship building and in the process raised $1,360 for the $5 for the Fight Fund to help union families in need.
It was a rousing success with more than 100 union brother and sisters joining in the Dec. 14 event at the Florissant Elks Club enjoying each others company, talking holiday plans, and of course tasting chili prepared by five volunteer cooks who enthusiastically brought in their chili and readied them for the big contest, oyster crackers and all.
THE FINAL RESULTS:
- First place overall – Rob Tudor, Roofers Local 2, with sweetest chili.
- Second place overall and First for the hottest chili – Desiree Drury.
- Third place overall and First for the most original chili, Michelle Jarvoe (SEIU Local 1).
- Honorable mention: Bobby Jones, IBEW Local 1.
Not in the winning category but the creator of a great chili, Kathy Groezinger.
Organizing the program on a spur-of-the-moment desire to help union families in need as a result of a Labor Tribune story reporting that the Fight Fund’s support for UAW 2250 strikers was depleting the fund at the crucial Christmas season, were IBEW Local 1 members Chris Field, Billy Aymar and John Whitelaw.
“We wanted to promote brotherhood among the trades and at the same time raise some money for the Fight Fund to help our union families,” said Aymar.
“We take care of our own,” added Field. “It’s brothers helping brothers,” added Whitelaw.
PUTTING TASTE BUDS ON THE LINE
Volunteering as judges and putting their taste buds potentially in harms way were Machinists Local 837’s Don Motzkus, IBEW Local 1’s Nick Sachse, St. Louis United Media Guild’s Shannon Duffy, Florissant Police Chief Tim Fagan, Elks Club member Ray Giguere and IBEW Local 1’s Dan Drury.
And ensuring it was all union, a special graphic announcing the event was created by Clint Lites, an IBEW Local 194 member from Shreveport, La., and serving as DJ to provide music was IBEW Local 1’s Tom Martin’s with ListenUp Productions. Printing for the programs was by union printer Arnold Printing Co.
NOT THE FIRST
Actually, this was the third fundraiser held by the group of determined unionists whose burning desire is to help others in need. They have now raised over $20,000, donated to a number of different groups to including the Sick & Needy Fund, IBEW Local 1’s Relief Fund, Apprentice Committee and the Electrical Workers Minority Caucus and Retiree’s Committee.