LaborPress | December 29, 2019 | By Silver Krieger
New York, NY – On Friday, December 13, over 300 New York City & Vicinity District Council of Carpenters showed up at the Javits Center in midtown Manhattan with one mission: construct a hockey rink for the qualifying rounds of the 2020 Special Olympics, being held at the venue the following day.
“We are so proud to lend a hand to the New York Chapter of the Special Olympics in partnership with the Jacob K. Javits Center to create a hockey rink as a part of the qualifying rounds for the Special Olympics in 2020,” New York City & Vicinity District Council of Carpenters Executive Secretary-Treasurer Joseph Geiger said. “One major pillar of our union is to give back to the communities throughout the five boroughs, and we [have looked] forward to our work reaching individuals beyond the city at these qualifying rounds for the Special Olympics this year.”
The New York City District Council of Carpenters is a representative body comprised of nine individual Locals and 22,000 union members. The District Council functions as the voice for thousands of New York City’s most dedicated and skilled Carpenters, Millwrights, Dockbuilders, Marine Divers, Core Drillers, Timbermen, Concrete Carpenters, Cabinetmakers, Floorcoverers and Industrial Workers.
“For our union, the New York City & Vicinity District Council of Carpenters, volunteering is at the heart of what we do,” said John Diodato, member of Local 2287. “I’ve been a carpenter for 33 years and as an apprentice, I did work here at the Javits Center. This is a great thing we do on behalf of the New York City & Vicinity District Council of Carpenters for years, and it’s something I’d love to continue to do – and do more often. The real joy comes after we build the rink and see the children play hockey for the qualifying rounds. For me, it’s great to come back to see how our efforts positively influenced the convention center over the years.”
Individual athletes who survive the qualifying round go on to the New York State Special Olympics slated for Rochester in 2020.
Volunteer Sabrina Marzan joined the Capenters in March, 2013, and is now a journeywoman with Local 157. “I was able to donate my skills for something greater to help children in need and it is an experience I will never forget,” she said. “I really did this for the children.”
As to what motivated her to put in the time and effort involved, Marzan further said, “When I found out the union was looking for volunteers to help children in the Special Olympics for 2020, I knew I needed to get involved. I love to give back, always. It really makes me feel good to help those in need, and this was one way [that] I could easily help.”
The outreach comes after the New York City & Vicinity District Council of Carpenters, in partnership with the Carpenter Contractor Alliance, worked together throughout November and December to deliver food, toys and goods to communities where union members live and work. Volunteering for the 2020 Special Olympics is just one way union members continue to give back beyond the holiday season.