A Brief History of Who We Are, What We Do and Our Goals
Lee Duncan, Business Representative for IBEW Local 48, bought a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle in February, 2003. He asked Luigi Serio, a co-worker and motorcycle enthusiast, “Okay, now what are we going to do for the kids?” Luigi discussed the idea of a motorcycle poker run with some friends at a meeting. Some other trade union folks there grabbed on to the idea of a fundraiser and we met.
Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, recognized as a leader in children’s health care, would come to be and remains as the sole recipient of Motorcycle Poker Run and Chili Cook-off fundraising events. Doernbecher Children’s Hospital has delivered hope and healing to families from throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington since 1926. Established in Portland as a teaching hospital affiliated with what is now Oregon Health & Science University, Doernbecher was the region’s first full-service children’s medical center. Today, Doernbecher still provides the area’s most comprehensive range of family-centered pediatric healthcare services, including the area’s most advanced specialty care. And as the primary center for OHSU’s pediatric programs, Doernbecher is a national leader in research and the education of tomorrow’s pediatric specialists. Doernbecher is a shining star in the health care industry, the City of Portland, Oregon and the nation.
After contacting the Doernbecher Foundation and doing their paperwork, getting the artwork approved and working in concert with them we held our first event in June 2003. We were allowed to use the Doernbecher Foundations tax ID number for tax purposes the first two years. With the addition in 2005 of a motorcycle raffle, this brought the added responsibility of the organization incorporating as a 503 (c) 3 under the IRS code, Our number is 20-1784553.
Even though this organization became named Unions for Kids, there are no exclusions of those not affiliated with a Union. Our events are open to anyone who wants to come have a day of fun. The name came from the idea that local area trade, service and public sector Unions provide the bulk of support through cash donations. Many folks may not be aware that Unions are tax-exempt organizations and as such, their donations are not really “deductible”, they just feel it is the right thing to do. All officers and committee members are unpaid volunteers.
Funding comes from various sources. We send letters to various trade Unions in the Portland Metro area asking for cash donations and/or raffle items such as shirts, hats and the like. Participants pay a registration fee, buy raffle tickets for vendor appreciation drawing (gifts and/or certificates from various retail businesses) and a 50/50 drawing (half the pot to the charity, the other half to the winner), sales of t-shirts, ride lapel pins, food and soft drink sales, and donations for draw cards. Since 2005, we also raffle off a new motorcycle each year to help increase the amount we are able to donate. The poker run consists of riders going from checkpoint to checkpoint and drawing a card at each of five places. The high and low hands both win a cash prize.
Each year we hand out a couple thousand flyers at bike shops, retail businesses, etc. Each flyer has a list of all contributors from the previous year on the reverse. Our vendors also receive a Certificate of Appreciation, and a letter for tax-purposes. The contributing Unions are not listed on the flyers; they are recognized through the Northwest Labor Press, a renowned Union newspaper, the Daily Journal of Commerce, and also through letters and Certificates of Appreciation.
We hope to have fun each year and raise even more funds; so far everyone seems to be having a great time at this fund raising event!
Lee Duncan, President Unions for Kids
Ric Olander, Vice President, Sheet Metal Local 16
Rob Williamson, Treasurer, IBEW & UW FCU / OPEIU 11
Jerry Bruce, IBEW Local 48 Retiree
William Carr, Sheet Metal Local 16
John Candioto, Sheet Metal Local 16
Kathy Duncan, IBEW Local 48
Jenny Gray, OPEIU 277
Kevin Kinoshita, ATU 757
Theresia Lloyd-Siemer, AFSCME Local 328
Heather MacPherson, IBEW & UW FCU
Donna Marshall, IBEW Local 48 / OPEIU 11
Barbara Mathey, IBEW & UW FCU
Luigi Serio, IBEW Local 48
Amy Streifel, WSU
Anne Streifel, Wells Fargo
Dan Streifel, good friend
Lori A. Vaughn, OPEIU 277 – AIL
Shannon Walker, BCT & GM114 / CLC Clark
We always welcome additional committee members. Ready to join? Contact us here.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mike Roche’, Ironworkers Local 29 Brother and a Founding Father of Unions for Kids. Mike was with us since the very first meeting , helping guide us into the successful organization we have become. His smile would brighten our day, his optimism was infectious and his knowledge of life was ever evident by his input and ideas showing reason and common sense. He will be forever missed, but he would want us to keep moving forward using our Union hearts and minds to help the kids “up on the hill.
It is with deepest sorrow that we report the passing of our good friend Barry White. Barry was a member of Millwrights Local 711. He worked as an Organizer, Business Representative and all other duties he was asked to do. Barry started out with Unions for Kids at the very beginning, truly one of our founding members! He showed up at either the first or second meeting and immediately showed that he was a creative thinker, hard worker and kept the kids first and foremost in his heart. Whenever we would get off track, he was the one that would remind us to get off whatever it was and get back to work to help the kids.
Our 7th annual Motorcycle Poker Run and Chili Cook-off held Saturday, June 13th was dedicated to committee Member Mark Kenney who passed away the day before the event. Cherished and admired by all, it was easy by nature for him to make the lives of others better; a gentlemen; a fair and caring person.