Sunday, August 30, 2009

Involvement in great causes - Local 37 members who care about their communities

Local 37 members have a growing history of getting involved with community events, often in partnership with some of our employer friends. Yesterday was a great example of this, when Local 37 sponsored teams from Point Lepreau ("Positive Energy") and Coleson Cove ("The Generate-oars") competed in the 5th annual Saint John Dragon Boat Festival. Although the final amounts are yet to come in, it looks like the combined total raised for the St. Joseph's Hospital foundation by these teams was over $30,000!

This was the first year that Coleson Cove employees entered a team, and the third year that Point Lepreau employees had a team, which this year included a number of employees from AECL who are working on the refurbishment project.

The very first Point Lepreau Dragon Boat entry occurred three years ago, when I received a call from Keith Miller, who is a Manager at Point Lepreau. He had recently returned to work after an illness in which he had been treated at St. Joseph's hospital, and he wanted to give something back to the hospital that had treated him so well. He explained to me that he had registered a team and paid the $1000 registration fee, but the boat had to be named after a sponsoring organisation, and he wanted to know if it would be okay to call it an IBEW team, since most of the rowers would be IBEW members. I was honoured that he wanted to do this, and agreed immediately. To make a long story short, through Keith's generosity and the hard work of a team of volunteer employees, the first year's team was a great success.
In fact, it was such a great success, I wanted to find a way to encourage Local 37 members to get involved in similar activities in following years. As a result, I worked with the Local 37 Health, Wellness and Benefits Committee to develop a pilot project that provides financial support to teams of IBEW members wishing to participate in community, charitable fundraising activities related to health and wellness. The type of charitable events supported had to include physical activity by the participants (running, walking, paddling, etc.).
This program has been very successful, and to date we have sponsored "Run for the Cure" and "Relay for Life" teams in addition to the Dragon Boat teams. There is an application process, if you are interested in learning more about this program, the application form and more information can be found here.
Photos: (Top to Bottom): The IBEW Coleson Cove Generate-oars winning their second race, Keith Miller and IBEW Positive Energy Team Captain Steve Brown, the Positive Energy Team site, Positive Energy paddling out to the start line for their second race, and some members of the Generate-oars on stand-by for their next race.

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