An event honoring Jim Claffey becomes a way to donate to a worthy cause
Most members are aware that since the time of the Moriarity administration, Local 802 has tried to build closer relationships with other entertainment unions.
One of my objectives for this administration has been to build upon that initiative and I believe we have been successful.
In terms of those relationships, no one has been a better friend to Local 802 that the president of IATSE Local 1, Jim Claffey.
Local 1 is an active participant in the Coalition of Broadway Unions and Guilds and has worked closely with us at Lincoln Center.
Also, it was under President Claffey’s leadership that Local 1 donated $167,500 our strike fund in 2007, increasing strike benefits to Broadway musicians during the Local 1 work stoppage.
It was therefore my very great pleasure to join with Local 1 and Actors’ Equity on the steering committee for St. Malachy’s Annual Father George Moore dinner, which honored President Claffey for his tireless efforts on behalf of workers in the entertainment industry.
Although we have made token contributions to St. Malachy’s in the past, the local would not normally take a leadership role in raising funds for a sectarian organization.
Two issues made this year different.
First, the event honored a person whom we greatly respect.
Equally important, the funds raised at this year’s dinner are earmarked for a new purpose – to fund a feasibility study to start a Broadway child care project which would make child care available to entertainment workers not only during normal office hours, but at night and on the weekend.
I’m happy to report that the event was a great success, both artistically and economically.
The evening included dinner at Sardi’s and a program including musical numbers relating to children and families.
Even given the limited space, live music was an important part of the entertainment, with our members Scott Cady and Jeff Carney performing.
At the end of the evening, over $220,000 was raised for the new childcare project, a record amount for the Father Moore Dinner.
This is only a first step, but this project could be an important resource for members with young families.
Local 802 should resolve to continue to participate in the effort to bring this project to fruition.
Celebrating the season
It is in this month that we launch the holiday season by celebrating Thanksgiving.
It’s no secret that this has been a very tough year for our union and our country.
Unemployment is at or reaching the double digits within the country in general; we don’t have to look very far to see how very much worse it is within Local 802 and the AFM.
The officers have made a special appeal for the ERF earlier in the year but, if you have not already given and are able to, please make a donation now. This safety net for members is more important than ever.
Beyond that, Local 802 will hold our holiday party on Dec. 16.
As we have done for a number of years, that event will include a prize drawing for those who bring either a new toy or non-perishable food to be donated to charity.
Last year’s party was bigger than ever; let’s make this one even better by giving to support those who are most in need.
Your donation to the ERF or the holiday charity drive may be the act that enables someone else to give thanks, so please join in celebrating the true spirit of the season.
To make a donation to either cause, call Recording Vice President Bill Dennison’s office at (212) 245-4802, ext. 111.