The Machinists Wood, Pulp and Paper Council (MWPPC) on Saturday held its first-ever virtual barbeque competition to help raise money for Guide Dogs of America / Tender Loving Canines (GDA/TLC). The successful event, which followed all safety protocols, brought in almost $24,000.

“We had fun, ate well, and, most importantly, raised a lot of money for a great cause,” said MWPPC President Billy Barnwell. “This has been a tough year for everyone, especially for GDA, which relies on donations to operate. Despite some obstacles, we found a way to make this happen and provide some much-needed support for GDA.”

WATCH: Machinists Wood, Pulp and Paper Council announces BBQ competition winners

“Thank you to our many sponsors, donators, cooks, and judges who made our first virtual barbecue so special,” added Barnwell. “Without your assistance, this event wouldn’t have been possible.”

Guide Dogs of America is the IAM’s favorite charity. At the beginning of this year, GDA completed a merger, and now provides hardworking service dogs for people who are blind/ visually impaired, veterans, individuals with autism, and facilities to become trusted companions that bring confidence, independence, and mobility. Their services are provided free of charge to residents in the U.S. and Canada.


Title Sponsors: IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr., Humana

Prime Sponsors: Woodworkers Local W12 (Weed, CA), IAM District 112 (Jacksonville, FL), Scott Capital Advisors

Select Sponsors: IAM General Secretary-Treasurer’s Department, IAM Woodworkers Department, Michelle Barnwell, K & R Branding Solutions, Image Pointe, IP Casino Resort and Spa (Biloxi, MS), Shasta Grown, IAM Local 759                        


GDA President Russ Gittlen, Winpisinger Center Director Chris Wagoner, Winpisinger Center Assistant Director Mary McHugh, Associate General Counsel Laura Ewan


Grand Champion First Place: Southern Territory Grand Lodge Representative James Little

Grand Champion Second Place: District W24 Business Representative Brandon Bryant

Grand Champion Third Place: Local 297 President John Gehringer

Beef Brisket Champion: Western Territory Chief of Staff Bobby Martinez

Pork Rib Champion: Western Territory Grand Lodge Representative James Watson

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