Guide Dogs of America – Tender Loving Canines (GDA/TLC) hosted its 2022 Las Vegas Charity Weekend with three fundraising events and an informational presentation leading up to its 41st Annual William W. Winpisinger Charity Banquet.
Over the year, the IAM raised over $2 million for GDA/TLC.
IAM territories, districts, and local lodges fundraise year-round with golf outings, clay shoots, motorcycle runs, and more to present large donations at the end-of-the-year Charity Banquet.
As part of GDA/TLC’s charity weekend, over 50 IAM members and other participants came together for a sporting clay shoot. The event was held at the Clark County Shooting Complex in Las Vegas, NV, and was open to anyone regardless of shooting experience. Awards were presented to the highest scoring teams.
GDA/TLC debuted its newest charity weekend event, Speed Vegas Exotics Racing, where participants could buy rides with professional drivers in exotic automobiles or pay to drive luxury sports cars. Raffle tickets were sold to raise money for the cause.
Charity weekend attendees also played in a golf tournament at Angel Park Golf Club. GDA graduates, meaning guide dog recipient and their dog, were stationed along the course to meet golfers and share their stories.
One GDA/TLC graduate team is prosecutor Chris McDonough and facility dog Fiji. Fiji works with McDonough at the Mobile County courthouse in Alabama to support and comfort crime victims and their families. Figi helps child victims, victims of violent crime, and witnesses cope with the anxiety and stress of coming to court and participating in that process.
“When I introduce Fiji to grand juries and tell them why he’ll be there with a victim, they’re always very impressed,” said McDonough. “I tell them to thank the Machinists Union. The IAM founded GDA and is GDA’s biggest financial contributor.”
During the 41st Annual William W. Winpisinger Charity Banquet, GDA/TLC presented its “Gift of Sight Award” to IAM Headquarters General Vice President Brian Bryant, IAM District 751 President and Directing Business Representative Jon Holden and Chris Babcock of BNY Mellon.
This annual award is given to recipients to honor their commitment and support on behalf of this charity that has changed the lives of many.
For more information about GDA/TLC or to donate, visit guidedogsofamerica.org.