SMW Local 73 celebrates, honors veterans

Sheet Metal Workers Local 73

Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 in Hillside held its annual Veterans Luncheon Nov. 6 as a way to give back to its veteran members. During the event, it donated $224,000 to Salute, Inc., a veteran organization that provides financial support for military men and women. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, Nov. 20, 2016
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley
labornews.com

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.

Salute, Inc., founder Will Beiersdorf, holding T-shirts, and his wife Mary Beth pass out shirts to veterans at Sheet Metal Workers Local 73. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

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.

Sheet Metal Workers Local 73

Members enjoy a lunch, conversation, and raffle opportunities at Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 union hall Nov. 6. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

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.

Sheet Metal Workers Local 73

Two Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 veterans, Dominic LaCaria, left, and Paul McNutt, right, were the BIG raffle winners Nov. 6 during the union’s annual Veterans Day Luncheon. They both won a 50-inch Samsung Smart TV. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

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“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.