CAW Sisters Raise Thousands on the Highway to Help

August 3, 2011, 12:15 PM EST


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Members of the CAW Local 27 Women's Committee hit the road on a motorcycle ride through Southern Ontario communities from July 25 to 29 - dubbed the Highway to Help. The ride, which pulled in over $26,000 in donations for women's support services in Ontario, helped raise awareness around the issue of gender based violence. 

CAW sisters Patty Marshall and Kim Walker, embarked on the ambitious five-day, 2000 km, motorcycle ride visiting CAW workplaces in 16 communities throughout Southern Ontario - making stops in Ingersoll, Woodstock, Kitchener, Milton, Mississauga, Brampton, Toronto, Oshawa, Ajax, Whitby, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, St. Thomas, Windsor and London.

Donations will be put towards the Ontario Association of Interval and Transitional Houses (OAITH) - a group that works to educate and promote change for abused women and children afflicted by violence - and in coordination with the provincial Step it Up campaign, that's aiming to make violence against women an issue for the October 6 election.

Marshall, a lead organizer for the event, said she was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm shown in support of this initiative - the first of its kind for the union. Organizers had encouraged CAW members across Ontario to run individual fundraising drives in their workplaces and communities.

"The excitement and positive energy we felt from other CAW members was incredible and made the entire trip worthwhile," Marshall said. "I'd do it again in a heartbeat."

Marshall and Walker were greeted to a heroes welcome at the ride's end in London on July 29, where 75 people packed into a small sports bar to congratulate the pair. Among the crowd was CAW Local 27 Financial Secretary Jim Wilkes, CAW Director of Women's Programs Julie White and London Mayor Joe Fontana.

"These sisters make our union proud," White said. "Their contribution to the struggle to raise awareness on gender based violence leading up to the Ontario provincial election is important work."

"Sisters Marshall and Walker had the full support of our large network of CAW Women's Advocates who understand the importance of working with women's organizations such as OAITH during the provincial election"

To find out more about the Ontario Association of Interval and Transitional Housing visit: http://www.oaith.ca/

To learn more about the Step it Up campaign visit: http://www.stepitupontario.ca/

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