By SHERI GASSAWAY
The new IBEW Local 1 Electrical Workers Riding Club recently donated $2,000 to the Local 1 Relief Fund, which provides assistance to union members in need, thanks to its first fundraising effort.
The motorcycle club, founded last fall, held a 50/50 raffle. Tickets were $20 each and only 200 were available with the goal of raising $4,000. Mike Bock, owner of Arnold Printing, a union company, designed and printed the raffle tickets for free.
“As soon as I opened the package (of tickets) at our first in-person union meeting, they were almost gone,” said Local 1 Business Representative Chuck DeMoulin, who serves as treasurer for the club. “And we had restrictions on the number of members who could attend that meeting because of COVID.”
The winning ticket was drawn at the Aug. 21 union meeting, and the winner, IBEW Local 1 riding club member Jeff Riddle, generously donated half of his winnings to the relief fund. The club also donated $1,000 to the fund for a grand total of $2,000.
The club began last October but the idea for the organization has been in the works for a while.
DeMoulin said he first heard about the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Riding Club four years ago when members from the Milwaukee club attended the opening of the Henry Miller Museum in St. Louis.
“They were telling me there was a yearly East Coast Solidarity ride with 300 to 500 members and all the money raised was donated to a charity,” he said. “I thought that was pretty cool and started checking into how we could organize a club here.”
40 MEMBERS STRONG
DeMoulin received permission from the International Union and Local 1 Business Manager Frank Jacobs to start the club and rounded up Local 1 brothers Norm Moss, Dustin Zimmerman, and Mark Callahan to get the wheels rolling. Today, the club has 40 members.
“We’ve been on a few small rides and then COVID hit,” he said. “We needed to raise some money, so I came up with the idea of the $20 raffle.”
The mission of the club is to promote the brotherhood of the IBEW, to provide support to several non-profit charities and to aid and assist worthy and distressed brothers and sisters and their families.
There are currently 41 IBEW electrical worker riding clubs in the United States and 10 in Canada. The first club was founded in New York and has been around for over 25 years.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information about the IBEW Local 1 club or to join, call DeMoulin at 314-226-7870. For updates on the club’s activities, visit its Facebook page at facebook.com/RidingclubIbewlocal1.