Laborers’ inaugural family picnic raises $23,000 for charities

web.laborers-picnic1The Laborers District Council of Minnesota and North Dakota hosted a family picnic for LIUNA members in Minneapolis’ Minnehaha Park on Aug. 16, featuring food, carnival games, a car and motorcycle show – and a big boost for local charities.

The inaugural event raised over $23,000 for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Upper Midwest, as well as the Laborers Charitable Foundation, which supports LIUNA members in their time of need.

“The first annual Laborers Family FUN-raiser is in the books, and by all accounts it was a great success,” District Council President Todd Pufahl said. “We raised a lot of money for our charities, built some camaraderie and solidarity across the organization and did the Laborers proud.

“We were very pleased with the turnout of over 400 Laborers Union member families at the picnic and also with the tremendous sponsorship support of both contractors and other Laborers Union supporters. It means a lot to us to be able to deliver that kind of money to the charities.”

Over the past 10 years the Laborers generated over $75,000 for charity through an annual motorcycle ride, which was given the Don Shelby Service Award in 2013 at the Ronald McDonald House’s annual gala. The union transitioned to a picnic to foster more of a family-friendly environment this year, said Dwight Engen, marketing director of Minnesota LECET, a sister organization of the Laborers.

“What a great event and a great day to raise money for our charities,” Engen said. “I believe that we are charged with a mission in helping others, and the Laborers Union members and all of the fine supporters really came to serve others in a big way.

“We are thankful to everyone that contributed and we just can’t wait to take the checks to these wonderful charities.”

LECET was created in 1992 as a non-profit joint labor-management cooperation effort affiliated with the Minnesota Laborers. It aims to promote the many benefits of union construction, including promoting career opportunities, member skills training, safety, construction industry advocacy and more while addressing initiatives that are of mutual benefit to both union contractors and Laborers members.

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