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Cookout signals start of United Way campaign for labor groups

To kick off support for the 2009 United Way of Wyoming Campaign, the Combined Federal Campaign and the State Employee Combined Appeal, the local labor movement recently held a cookout at the Plains Township Park Pavilion. Special endorsements for the 2009 drive were made by Sam Bianco, president of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Labor Council/AFL-CIO, and Jeff Ney, president of the Luzerne County Coordinating Council/PSEA. Doug Gaudet, president of Penn Millers Insurance Co., is serving as the 2009 United Way General Campaign chair. Awards were presented to unions and union members who provided outstanding support during the 2008 campaign. Award recipients were Yolanda Riggsbee, president, AFGE Local 1699, Labor Award; Dallas Education Association, Sarah and Anthony F. Kane Achievement Award; Tony Thomas Jr., USW Local 5652-00, Unsung Labor Hero Award; and the Highest Number of Labor Leadership Givers are Teamsters Local 401, first place; Wyoming Valley West Education Association, second place; PSSU Local 668, third place; GCC/IBT Local 137-C, fourth place; and USW Local 5652-00, fifth place. From left are: Bianco; Gaudet; Ney; Pat Connors, principal officer, Teamsters Local 401; Riggsbee; Tom Jurish, GCC/IBT Local 137-C; Dave Carey, president, USW Local 5652-00; and Bill Wagner, president, Dallas Education Association.

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