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USW Cares: Steelworkers donate $10,000 to Kamloops Food Bank

December 4, 2017 | News Articles

(The following article is by Dale Bass and published on Kamloops This Week. View the KTW version here.)

Jordan Lawrence sums up the role Tara Kavanagh plays in his union’s charitable work in one simple sentence: “She makes it happen.”

Kavanagh, first vice-president of Local 1417 of the United Steel Workers Union, has brought “a lot of activism and a lot volunteerism in the community” to her union, said Marty Gibbons, another member of the local.

Last year, the three of them and others in the local organized their first charity golf tournament, raising money and collection other donations for the Kamloops Food Bank.

They raised about $5,000 and many pounds of food.

This year, the Sept. 29 event at Eaglepoint Golf Resort in Barnhartvale saw the 60 golfers raise $10,000 and collect 280 pounds of food.

When the dollars were totalled, Gibbons said, they were just a bit under the $10,000 mark, but donations from other Steelworker locals helped them hit the $10K figure.

Lawrence and Kavanagh also confirmed gold sponsors for 12 of the 18 holes for the tournament. At $500 from each sponsor, they were well on their way to doubling their first golf-related donation to the agency in 2016. The winner of the 50/50 draw also donated the money back to the food bank.

Gibbons said they chose the food bank because the money goes directly to help others.

“And they can do more, buy more food with that $10,000 than we’d ever be able to do,” he said.

Kavanagh thanked her co-workers for their kind words during the cheque presentation earlier this month at the food bank’s Wilson Street operation in the North Shore, praising her colleagues for the charitable work they do.

This year, that included involvement in the summer wildfires. Steelworkers picked up ingredients for meals from the food bank and drove out to places where first responders were battling the blazes — towns like Clearwater and Ashcroft — to make sure they were fed.

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