Rally at Raceway raised $50,000-plus for displaced steelworkers

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THE STEERING COMMITTEE for the Community Rally at the Raceway presents a check representing the $50,985 the event raised to support local steelworkers. – Steelworkers Local 1899 photo
THE STEERING COMMITTEE for the Community Rally at the Raceway presents a check representing the $50,985 the event raised to support local steelworkers. – Steelworkers Local 1899 photo

By CARL GREEN

Illinois Correspondent

Madison, IL – The Community Rally at the Raceway event on Nov. 3 raised $50,985.27 to support local steelworkers, organizers have reported. The proceeds were presented to the Tri Cities Division of United Way of Greater St. Louis and will be disbursed to qualified laid-off steelworkers and their families.

The event at Gateway Motorsports Park hosted about 250 attendees, and about 100 business, civic organizations, government officials and community members “rallied” behind the cause.

“The community can be proud as, together, we clearly demonstrated in actions our solidarity for the steel industry and the significance of giving back,” said organizer Cindy Gavilsky, executive director of Coordinated Youth & Human Services.

“Truly, all can rest assured that your monetary and voluntary donations do matter in the lives of the over 1,600 workers and their families as we approach this holiday season.”

NO EAR PLUGS

No ear plugs were needed for the event’s phantom races, which consisted of sponsored cardboard cars that competitively moved with a series of rolling dice. Granite City Mayor Ed Hagnauer won first place.

The idling of the US Steel facility at the end of 2015 has impacted more than 1,600 steelworkers and their families. Many of these displaced workers have run out of unemployment benefits, lost their healthcare and are struggling to make ends meet, said Jason Chism, president of United Steel Workers Local 50, one of the locals that represents the workers here.

“This unprecedented situation appears to have no immediate end in sight,” he added. “With the support of the community, a difference can be made in the lives of those who have supported the community for years.”

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Holiday fund created for Granite City steelworkers

This holiday season, United Way of Greater St. Louis and the Steelworkers Organization for Active Retirees (SOAR) have come together to create an online holiday fundraiser to help steelworkers and their families around the Granite City and surrounding areas impacted by layoffs at US Steel-Granite City and Amstead Rails. Monetary donations can be made at https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/STEELWORKERS.

All of the proceeds and funds collected will be used to provide gifts such as food baskets and gift cards to support those affected by the layoffs. The items will be distributed on Thursday, December 15 from noon until 4 p.m. at the Granite City Township Hall, located at 2060 Delmar Ave., Granite City, IL.

“Many families continue to face challenges and uncertainty, and our hope is to help as many steelworkers as possible to make their holidays a little brighter,” said Roz Sherman-Voellinger, vice president of labor relations at United Way of Greater St. Louis. ”A little bit goes a long way.”

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