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Teamster Women Hold Gala for Education

Teamster members and supporters took part in a night of dinner, dancing and solidarity on Saturday, March 9, to benefit the continuing education of Teamster women.

Nearly 400 people attended the Teamsters Joint Council 25 Women’s Committee’s Inaugural Gala Dinner Dance at Victoria Beau Jolie in Schiller Park. The event raised $60,000.

“This was the Women’s Committee’s first major fundraiser, and I am absolutely thrilled with how it turned out,” said Debra Simmons-Peterson, President of the Women’s Committee and Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 743. “This event will go a long way toward starting our scholarship program and educating Teamsters with trainings and seminars throughout the year.”

Guest speaker Becky Strzechowski, President of Teamsters Local 700, Central Region Vice President and a founding member of the Women’s Committee, talked about her rise through the union ranks and the importance of fostering leadership opportunities for Teamster women.

“Women are a powerful force in our union, and because of organizations like the Women’s Committee, we are seeing more and more chances to step up and make a difference,” Strzechowski said.

She also presented a gift from the Women’s Committee to John T. Coli, President of Teamsters Joint Council 25, to thank him for his support.

“When Joint Council 25 established the Women’s Committee in 2009, I never dreamed it would come this far this fast,” said Coli, who also serves as a Central Regional Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 727. “I think what these women are doing with this event—raising money to start a scholarship for Teamsters to further their education—is incredibly important. I could not be more proud. This organization can count on my support for the rest of my life.”

International Vice President-At-Large Al Mixon, who traveled from Cleveland to attend the event, spoke briefly before Chicago band Shy Soul began playing and guests took to the dance floor.

For more information on the Joint Council 25 Women’s Committee or to become a member, visit TeamsterWomen.com.

Teamsters Joint Council 25 represents more than 125,000 hardworking men and women throughout Illinois and northwest Indiana.