Steamfitters Local 439’s annual Night at the Grizzlies draws another big crowd to benefit Illinois Fire Safety Alliance summer camp

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A PRELIMINARY CHECK FOR $8,000 was issued to the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance Burn Camp, with much more to follow. From left are Sami Dryden, apprentice for Steamfitters Local 439, United Association General Secretary-Treasurer Pat Kellett and Phil Zaleski, executive director of the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance. - Labor Tribune photo

Camp ‘I Am Me’ provides setting for child burn survivors to share their common experiences

By CARL GREEN

Illinois Correspondent

Sauget, IL – The annual Gateway Grizzlies benefit baseball game hosted by Steamfitters Local 439 has become a vital part of the budget for the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance “I Am Me” summer camp, which gives kids from throughout Illinois who are burn victims a chance to have some fun and activity in a special setting each year.

Typically, the game raises $20,000 or more for the camp, said Phil Zaleski, executive director of the Fire Safety Alliance.

Zaleski was among the thousands attending this year’s game, held June 3 under sunny skies at GCS Credit Union Ballpark.

“It’s probably 15 or 20 percent of what we need to run the camp,” Zaleski said. “It’s so important.”

This year, 67 kids are attending the camp. They pay nothing for the week of fun and learning.

As always, pork steak was served before the game, plus hamburgers, hot dogs and side orders, with help from the GCS Credit Union Ballpark staff.

Oh yes, and there was a thrilling baseball game, too, won by the Grizzlies over the River City Rascals by a score of 10-9 on an eighth-inning home run by Blake Brown.

Check out our photo gallery from the event! – Labor Tribune photos

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