Money raised from two recent Central States Conference fundraisers will benefit the Breath of Life Foundation. The sixth Annual Motorcycle and Car Rally, which took place on Aug. 11 in West Virginia at space donated by Harley Davidson, raised over $15,000. Donations are still coming in from the 10th Annual Mesothelioma Charity Golf Tournament that occurred on Sept. 10.
More than 100 golfers played in the 10th Annual Mesothelioma Charity Golf Tournament, which was held at Grosse Ile Golf and Country Club in Michigan. Formed by the contractors and Locals of the HFAIW Central States Conference, the Breath of Life Foundation has raised more than $1 million in the last 10 years to support mesothelioma academic and clinical research led by Dr. Michael Harbut with the Providence Hospital of the St. John Providence Health System.
Dr. Harbut is a world-renowned researcher and physician with several decades of experience treating asbestos exposed patients. He leads a team of occupational hazard researchers and instructs through the Michigan State University teaching hospital to educate and advise young doctors on how to test for and treat asbestos related diseases. In 2013, the Breath of Life Foundation and the Central States Conference started the Motorcycle and Car Rally to foster engagement and involvement with Local Union Brothers and Sisters in the Conference.
“This bike and car event was created to grow member participation and awareness for the foundation and I am so proud to see how it has grown in the last six years,” said HFIAW General Secretary-Treasurer Greg Revard, who served as the International Vice President for the Central States Conference when each of the Breath of Life Foundation events were established.
Revard said he was excited to see how mesothelioma and other asbestos-related disease research is being propelled by the financial support from Central States Conference and the increased amount of participation by Local Unions and their members. He praised the involvement from every Local in the Central States Conference, as well as the efforts of Tina Jordan from Local 80, Doug Ripple from Local 207 and Local 50 Business Manager Dan Poteet.
“This foundation is incredibly valuable as a resource for information and assistance,” Poteet said. “As someone who has lost loved ones from mesothelioma and asbestos related diseases, the comfort and assistance that is provided by the Breath of Life Foundation is irreplaceable. The extended quality of care and quality of life that is provided nowadays to those diagnosed is outstanding and the research Dr. Harbut is doing at the St. John Providence Health System is making a difference.”
Central States Conference International Vice President Pat Barron also applauded the members who donate their effort, time and resources to help the cause. “The level of commitment that our Central States Brothers and Sisters and contractors have is incredible, as they all donate their time and all of our Locals help in any way possible to make our Breath of Life events successful,” Barron said. The Breath of Life Foundation continues to engage with members to encourage involvement, including hardhat stickers, which are new this year, to help spread the message while on the job.
“I am so proud of everyone who is regularly involved in making the Breath of Life such a success,” Barron said.