Local 502 raises $20,502 for Vancouver Children’s Hospital

ILWU local 502 finally ended their fundraising drive for the Vancouver Children’s Hospital. Their grand total was $20,502. This successful drive was beyond expectation and was followed by a live presentation on TV in front of millions of viewers during prime time and an hour before the telethon came to a close.

Local 502 had set an initial goal to at least raise $10,000. When this was met they kept going until they reached $19,657. The membership engaged in this venture with great enthusiasm and commitment. There were individual donations of up to $500 and over 80 donations of $100. The fundraising effort “spread like wildfire” stated 502 President Chad O’Neal on live TV. “Our membership really took it to heart and fully engaged itself for this great cause”, he added. O’Neal, along with the fundraising volunteers presented the cheque to the Children’s Hospital on the yearly telethon.

Minutes before the live broadcast VP Dan Debruyn, Hardy Sidhu and other committee members huddled together and donated more funds to increase the $19,657 total to make it $20,502 to represent Local 502.

“This was amazing for a first time fundraising effort”, stated Kitty Cheung the Philanthropy Officer for the Children’s Hospital. Cheung will be making a visit to the local’s next union meeting to make a presentation of appreciation and thanking everyone for their hard work.

There are already plans to make this a yearly event. “This was just a learning experience and we now know how to make it better, raise
even more funds next year and do it more efficiently.

Even the core group only expected to raise about $5000. The input from everyone was very overwhelming” stated a member of the fundraising team. “People were leaving envelopes of money on a daily basis at the union hall.” Dispatchers Rocky Thompson and Romeo Bordingnon had their hands full of cash every day along with their daily duties.

This collective effort by local 502 is a great representation of the ILWU. Local 502 was originally located in New Westminster and thus became known as the “New West” local and is still referred to by the same name.

Local 502 services Fraser Surrey Dock, Deltaport, Westshore Terminals and various Automobile Docks.

– Bal Singh

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