ExecutiveLocal 793 has raised $65,337 for longtime union member and operator Gerry Lukasiewicz of Sarnia who was injured in a construction site accident in 2012.
The announcement was made at a fundraiser attended by nearly 100 people at the Sarnia Holiday Inn on Dec. 14. The event also featured a silent auction.
Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher had proposed the idea of a fundraiser for Gerry at a general membership meeting of the union on March 24, 2013.
Gallagher had also proposed that the union contribute $10,000 to the fundraiser and the idea received unanimous support from members at the meeting.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to help with the costs of buying and equipping a van for Gerry.
Gerry was seriously injured in an accident on the morning of May 7, 2012. He was struck by a jib weighing 1,500 pounds. He is now confined to a wheelchair.
Gerry is a 39-year member of Local 793. He started his career in the early 1970s with a company called Goodfellows Disposal. He joined the union while working at the company.
Gerry worked on numerous projects in and around the Sarnia area, mostly in the petrochemical sector. He was one of the operators who helped build Shell Chemical.
Retired Southwestern Ontario area supervisor Bob McQueen told those who attended the fundraiser that Gerry was in grave condition after the accident and it’s been a long road to recovery for him.
However, he said, Gerry has fought back and wants to drive again, and the money raised from the fundraiser will enable him to realize that goal.
McQueen noted that shortly after the accident business manager Gallagher visited Gerry in the hospital and told him the union would be there for him.
“My experience has been that when something happens we step up to take care of our own,” said McQueen.
McQueen thanked union staff, business reps and officers for putting the fundraiser together.