Union fundraiser surprises cancer center with big payoff

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CANCER FUNDRAISER: U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) (right) talks with Teamsters Local 525 Business Representative Kevin Engelke during a fundraiser April 20 at Steamfitters Local 439 hall for the Siteman Cancer Center. – Labor Tribune photo

By CARL GREEN

Illinois Correspondent

East Alton, IL – The cancer research fundraiser hosted by Steamfitters Local 439 on April 20 surprised the Siteman Cancer Center by raising $12,800, far more than such rallies usually produce.

Event organizer Jonathon Forbes, an associate of the Gori-Julian Law Firm, recently reported the amount to the Greater Madison County Federation of Labor.

“Siteman Cancer Center was completely flabbergasted by how well we did,” he said. “Usually with an event like that, they get $2,000 or $3,000. I want to thank all of you, all the local unions and the Federation.”

In addition, Forbes noted, all of the proceeds went to the cancer center because Gori-Julian paid for the food and drinks while the Steamfitters did not charge for use of their hall on Illinois 159 south of Collinsville.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin spoke at the event, saying the budget of the National Institutes for Health (NIH) may be cut drastically in the Trump Administration budget. Durbin has been working with Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blount, chairman of the Health and Human Services subcommittee, to increase funding to the NIH.

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