A Glimpse Into Why I Love Where I Work

I'm not one of those people who goes gaga crazy over Hollywood "stars."  They do a job, many of them do it really well.  Some of them I watch and wonder how did they EVER get to be so popular...

This lady, though, I have always enjoyed.  Like most people I first saw her in Kindergarten Cop and thought she was hysterical.  Then, every once in a while I'll be watching something and she pops up.  Most recently she was in an episode of CSI.

What is our connection?  Her father was the General Secretary-Treasurer of the Laborers' International Union of North America from 1975 until he passed away in 1980.  He worked his way up the ranks to Secretary-Treasurer of the International Union.  He is from our Tacoma local and we are all quite proud of the work he did.  When he passed away, a scholarship fund was established in his name and since its establishment in 1981, they have given out over $383,150.00 in scholarships to those college students who meet the scholarship's eligibility requirements.

When Pamela was at our office last Friday for our annual Christmas party, she gave us another insight into her Dad and how important education was to him.  She had told me a good part of her story when she and I spent an afternoon together during the scholarship fund's golf tournament (Neither one of us golf so we were both in the clubhouse for the day.  We chatted the time away and it went quickly.).  The story she told us on Friday had to do with her grandparents and their struggle to provide for their children.  Pamela's grandfather was killed in an on-the-job accident (this was before OSHA and WISHA and explains her father's passion for on-the-job safety) leaving her grandmother to support eleven children, her father had to help with that and so college dreams for Pamela's father died with his dad.  He would come home from school, though and every day part of his homework was to share with his mother everything he learned that day.  His love for education and the dream that no one should be deprived a college education started at that kitchen table.  Everyone who knew him knew that was important to him and hence the start of the scholarship fund by several of his friends when he passed away. 

Pamela was at our party, too, to surprise me with a gift from the Board of Directors of the Scholarship Fund.  I've been doing the administrative work for the Fund for almost twenty years now.  I was thoroughly surprised but above the gift, I was flattered that she would take the time to come up here specifically to honor me with the award.  I'm not big on being the center of attention and I will tell you when the people at the party called for a speech, I just shook my head no and waved them away.  It is nice, though, to be recognized and at the same time I am just taken aback at the idea I've been here almost twenty years...  However did the time go by? 

Pamela and I again started to chat and before I knew it, I had practically monopolized her for half an hour.  We had to kind of shoo each other on to socialize with the guests.  We probably could have talked for hours again. 

A friend of mine took a picture of us with her phone.  Unfortunately it did come out quite blurry but...at least you can tell it's Pamela. 

She is one very sweet & beautiful lady.  I am so incredibly proud to be a part of the Laborers' Union, the W. Vernie Reed Memorial Scholarship Fund and all that they do and who they are. 

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