HILLSIDE — A recent SMART Regional Convention in Chicago proved to be a catalyst for fundraising efforts by Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 to help a local veteran organization — Salute, Inc.
Donations received during the convention, and matched by SMART, totaled $224,000, which was donated Nov. 6 to Salute, Inc. founders Will and Mary Beth Beiersdorf, during SMW Local 73’s annual Veterans Luncheon.
“I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done,” SMW Local 73 President Rocco Terranova told his members in attendance at the veterans luncheon. “This organization does what it says it does,” he explained.
Salute, Inc., a non-profit organization, provides financial support for military men and women through a variety of fundraising activities.
This is the 12th year the SMW Local 73 Veterans Committee has held a luncheon for its veteran members. The committee fundraises through its monthly 50/50 union meeting raffles, and donations and proceeds from the sale of ads in its Veterans Committee luncheon booklet.
Veterans Committee Secretary Mike Roche said this year, the committee has been able to give out more than $5,400 to various organizations.
A new, younger member was recently added to the Veterans Committee, bring some “new blood” to the committee, said SMW 73 Local Veterans Committee Director of Veterans’ Affairs Eric Olson.
“Our newest committee member is currently an apprentice, and I’m happy to say, we have 16 apprentices right now that our veterans,” Olson explained. The committee is looking to bridge the gap between the older and younger veterans.
Hillside Mayor Joe Tamburino, who is a familiar face at the luncheon, came again this year. Tamburino served in the Army from 1968-70.