Connect with us


Julian’s Dinosaur Guild fundraiser Sept. 20 in Renton

blackwell-julianRENTON, Wash. (Sept. 12, 2014) — In November 2010, three-year-old Julian Blackwell was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia, a rare life-threatening disease in which bone marrow does not make enough blood cells for the body. Julian, the son of M.L. King County Labor Council secretary and OPEIU Local 8 executive board member Valancy Blackwell, didn’t respond to blood transfusions and drug treatments of immunosuppressive therapy. But in September 2011 he was fortunate enough to receive a bone marrow transplant at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

And it worked.

Every year since, Julian’s family — and his family of union supporters throughout Western Washington — have celebrated his continued good health with a fundraising party to benefit Children’s Hospital and its bone marrow failure disease research program. All are invited to join The Entire Staff of The Stand™ at the 3rd Annual Julian’s Dinosaur Guild fundraiser, celebrating Julian’s three-year “transplantiversary,” from 5 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20 at Renton Technical College, 3000 N.E. 4th St.

This fun event will feature:

  • A large silent auction with a huge variety of items to bid on at all price points, including gift cards, experiences, handmade furniture, airline tickets, getaways, and much more;
  • Cash bar featuring a variety of beers and great union-made local wine from Chateau Ste. Michelle;
  • A full buffet dinner (vegetarian option available) and dessert;
  • A brief program featuring the premiere of a new Guild video and Dr. Melisa Ruiz-Gutierrez from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Shimamura Lab;
  • A 50/50 raffle; and
  • Dancing to all the best party songs with DJ Paul Thompson (STAR 101.5)

Buy tickets or make a donation to Julian’s Dinosaur Guild at Adults are $35, youths 11-17 are $15, kids 10 and under are free with advance notice. (There will be some supervised kid crafts and hopefully a clown visit to help keep the kids entertained.) Full tables for eight are $280.

“We have our union-negotiated wages and medical benefits to thank for helping our family get through a couple of really tough years as Julian was struggling with his illness,” Valancy said. “Now, the labor community has generously embraced and supported our Guild. Sponsorships and participation from our Union Brothers and Sisters have made our first two years really successful, and we’re so appreciative of everyone’s support.”

Unions that have helped sponsor the Julian’s Dinosaur Guild event this year and in years past include the Seattle/King County Building & Construction Trades Council, the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters, Iron Workers Local 86, Laborers Local 440, Machinists District Council 751, Plumbers & Pipefitters (UA) Local 32, and Operating Engineers Locals 286, 302 and 609.

In fact, the Iron Workers were cheering up Julian and all his fellow Children’s Hospital patients three years ago when they wrote the kids’ names on the steel beams of a new adjacent building that was under construction. Julian’s joy at having his name displayed was chronicled in a Sept. 29, 2011, Seattle Times report and in local TV news coverage. (Also check out this 2011 video produced by the Iron Workers District Council of the Pacific Northwest.)

Organizers of the Sept. 20 Julian’s Dinosuar Guild event chose Renton Technical College as the venue because it is a training partner for many local union apprenticeships. United Labor Bank and the Puget Sound Labor Agency are sponsoring the event’s accounting operation, and all materials publicizing the event have been printed at Overnight Printing, a GCIU/IBT union print shop.

If you have questions about the event, email or call Anne Wetmore at 253-569-3683.

Here’s a video from last year’s fundraiser:


CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!