CAW Donates to Goderich Relief Efforts

December 8, 2011, 9:50 AM EST

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The CAW has donated $35,000 to the Town of Goderich, Ontario in support of relief and rebuilding efforts in the wake of a devastating tornado that ripped through the town on August 21. 

CAW President Ken Lewenza made the cheque presentation to Goderich Mayor Deb Shewfelt at CAW Council on December 3, calling it a "down payment" from the union. The Town has so far raised $3 million in aid money, and is aiming for a total of $10 million.

"We will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the community of Goderich until they reach their goal," Lewenza said.

In a speech to council delegates, CAW Local 2458 member and unit chairperson at Seaforth Manor long term care facility Cheryl McClure, recounted the details of a horrific tornado-related accident that resulted in her husband, Jim Johnston, suffering serious injuries and requiring emergency medical care. Jim was struck by a fish and chips shack that was blown over because of high winds.

"We are thankful for the tremendous support of emergency responders and hospital workers in Goderich and London," McClure said. 

Mayor Shewfelt, a former trade union member, said McClure's story is one of thousands being told by citizens, including many other CAW members living in Goderich. Shewfelt spoke to delegates about the challenges the Town now faces and remained hopeful that the community will surface stronger, as a result.

"In the aftermath of the storm I told a lot of the people, 'you are not victims - you are survivors," Shewfelt said.

The CAW will set up a webpage, on, for the public to make donations to support the Goderich relief efforts in the coming days.

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