Communications Workers of America Local 7026
April 1, 2009
May 1, 2009 marked Cecilia Valdez’s 31st anniversary as a member of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), and she couldn’t be more proud. Cecilia’s career has taken her from Mountain Bell operator to Qwest cable splicer to her current position as a network technician.
As the secretary/treasurer for CWA’s Local 7026 chapter in Tucson, Arizona, the highlight of the year for Cecilia was her Local’s 13th annual fund raiser in November 2008. The “Hope 2008” Golf Tournament raised close to $5,000 for EGPAF, CWA’s “Charity of Choice.” CWA is a long-time supporter of EGPAF’s lifesaving work, raising a total of more than $6 million since 1990.
Started in 1996 by Janice McGrath, the Hope Golf Tournament is a way for Local 7026 to support EGPAF above and beyond the contributions through their CWA dues. It also provides a great way for the Local 7026 members and their families to come together with the community. Cecilia has been managing the tournament since 1997 and has a special motivation to stay involved.
“I’ve heard Elizabeth’s son Jake and husband Paul speak over the years, and I’ve seen videos of the work that EGPAF does both here in the U.S. and around the world,” Cecilia says. “The impact that our fund raising has on the lives of children is amazing. For just a little, we can give back so much.”
The tournament, which draws more than 100 golfers every year, gets easier and easier to plan. “Now that we’ve been around for so many years, people expect to see us and ask how they can get involved,” says Cecilia. Many of the tournament participants have been with the event from the beginning, including Tom Vetrano of Vetrano Financial Services, who has been a platinum-level sponsor for all 13 years. The generosity of the community extends even further. “People who win cash prizes often donate the money back to the cause,” Cecilia explains. “It’s inspiring to see these participants be so selfless.”
For others interested in planning successful fund raisers for EGPAF, Cecilia recommends reaching out to local businesses to get items donated, and getting creative with the offerings at the event. Local 7026 negotiated a free golf practice round to kick off their tournament, which helped to draw in more participants and makes the game more competitive (but still friendly).
What is Cecilia’s most important piece of advice? “Everyone can do this and participate at 100 percent,” she says. “As the Communications Workers of America, we have a wonderful opportunity to participate in our community and give back to the world around us. If you’re not sure how to get started, reach out to your friends and other Locals — we’re all more than ready to help. In fact, I’m just a phone call away!”