8/3/2010 12:00:00 AM

State Employees Union Comes to Town.
Presents $7,000 Donation Plus Food to Local Food Program

When members of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, AFSCME Council 24, came together for their 78th Annual Convention in Appleton, they brought $7,000 and hundreds of pounds of food for an area food program.

The union collected non-perishable food items and cash donations for the St. Joseph Food Program, which serves 1,000 families a week throughout Winnebago, Outagamie, Waushara and Calumet counties. Not only did members attending the convention bring donations, the union matched cash donations made by its 22,000 members across the state.

"We work on the front lines of public service. We understand the stress this economy has placed on families and we want to help out. Council leaders have been impressed, but not surprised, by the response we've gotten from our members. Clearly, they get it," said Council 24 President Bob McLinn.

The food program donation was a new feature at a Council 24 convention. But it will not be the last time the Council builds a community service project into its annual gathering. The first resolution, submitted by Local 1942 and approved by delegates at this convention, committed the Council to including a community service project in the agenda for all future conventions.

"Our members make Wisconsin happen every day on the job, so it is only natural that they would want to make things happen for any community that is hosting them," McLinn said. This year's convention drew nearly 200 delegates and more than 50 guests to Appleton's Paper Valley Hotel.