Wichita Bowls a 300 for GDA, Again

Northrock Lanes in Wichita, KS has the Machinists and the puppies to thank for filling nearly every single lane as the IAM raised close to $13,000 for Guide Dogs of America (GDA) during the District 70 Doggie Bowl event held last week.

“IAM’s District 70 has outdone itself again as for the 6th year in a row they have raised thousands of dollars for the Guide Dogs of America,” said Southern Territory Mark A. Blondin. “But more important, this group of Wichita Machinists brings recognition, year after year, to an organization created by an IAM Member, that helps blind and visually impaired men and women across the North American gain freedom and mobility in their everyday lives.  Whenever an IAM Member chooses to spend his or her time or money to donate to a cause like GDA, it creates a ripple effect in the community, which makes a huge difference in their own backyard and leaves a proud mark for the IAM.”

In its sixth year, District 70 brought in 137 bowlers on 42 separate lanes. Between donations, the silent auction and bowling fees, Guide Dogs of America will receive more than $13,000 from the IAM. Since the GDA school relies solely on donations to provide free-of-charge dogs to blind and visually impaired people across the U.S. and Canada, it is events like this one that keeps the puppies wagging their tails.

“At the Machinists Union, we believe living is about giving. And with a group like GDA, there’s no question we will be there to do all we can,” said District 70 Directing Business Representative Cornell Beard. “Just like when we are able to give workers a voice on the job because of their Union, this is the Union giving mobility to those in the community who need it most.”

And from the looks of it, it seems like the idea is catching on in the Air Capitol of the World as lane sponsors ranged from members to local businesses to international aerospace companies. No one knows better than guide dog recipient and machinist member Teresa Blevins how these puppies are changing lives.

“I strive to educate the public on what a guide from GDA does for someone like me. My amazing helper finds the up and down curbs, safely guides me across a busy intersection, helps locate an empty seat in a crowded room and allows me to navigate up and down stairs safely – and that’s just to name a few ways in which my guide assists me in everyday life. It is beyond any words to say thank you to all the supporters and volunteers who makes sure these fundraisers are successful,” said Blevins.

So what’s next? Of course, a seventh year that promises to bring even more bowlers and money for our ‘Four-Legged Workers’ who are always on the job.


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