MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. — Every year, members of Carpenters Union Local 1485 of the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) and their families gather at Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City to celebrate and recognize the outstanding achievements of individuals and the organization.
"This event means so much to our members because it gives us the opportunity to celebrate the dedication and service they give to their union," commented John Carr, Local 1485 President. "There's a reason the Carpenters Union has been in this community for 113 years; it's because the members truly care about it and play a vital role in giving back and building it."
Following dinner, Carr shared a video with guests highlighting Career Connections, an apprentice program that partners with local high schools.The program is a part of the Michigan City area schools curriculum and prepares high school students for careers in the construction industry.
Carr explained that apprentice programs are on the rise, and Indiana is one of the top states in the nation with over 7,000 registered apprentices, and 1,500 of those students are enrolled through the IKORCC. "The Carpenters are the only organization effectively training and preparing apprentices for the future." commented Carr. "We are investing in our greatest resource and our contractors' greatest resource — our members."
Upon Carr's conclusion, his wife Angie was invited to the podium to discuss United4Carpenters (U4C), a pilot program composed of IKORCC member spouses, significant others and children who are actively involved in the community and support issues facing the carpenters. Angie is working hand-in-hand with staff and other volunteers to get U4C off the ground.
Stephanie Howard, speaker, author of Live Life, Be Strong with God and wife of Local 1485 member Josh Howard, was welcomed to the stage to share her story of unbelievable strength. In August 2010, the wife and mother of three was diagnosed with a brain tumor. With the guidance of others and her strong faith, Stephanie was able to recover and has been empowered to share her story of persistence and determination with others.
Additionally, several awards were presented to individuals who have exhibited outstanding service, dedication and leadership within the community, including the following:
- Bert Cook, Executive Director of the Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporations, was presented with the Excellence in Economic Development Award
- Dave Tharp, Midwest District Vice President of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC), was presented the Legacy Award for the lasting impact he has left throughout the council
- Longtime member John Dudeck was recognized with the Peter J. McGuire Award for his service and dedication to Local 1485 and the community
- James Principe was honored for his 64 years of service to Local 1485
Tom Dermody was honored for his leadership in the state legislature
To conclude the evening, all members were recognized with pins representing their years of service to the IKORCC.