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Union hosts picnic at lake

Staff writer

Music and fireworks highlighted the United Steelworkers Local 11228’s annual union picnic, which for the second consecutive year was held at Marion County Lake.

“We wanted to give a little something back to the people that live here,” said Dianne Williams, who planned the event.

Williams is a member of Women of Steel, a sister organization to the union, comprised mostly of members’ wives. Union president Brian Lansaw said Williams chose the date and location of the picnic.

“The picnic is pretty much fickle in that whoever organizes it gets to pick where it is,” Lansaw said.

The turnout of around 100 people was a mix of steelworkers and local residents.

Williams said Labor Day weekend works best for the picnic because usually everyone in the union is available that weekend.

“Life’s depressing enough with bills and work and home life,” Williams said. “This is a good time for everyone, and a chance to cut loose.”

Two bands played during the evening, providing a mix of bluegrass and rock and roll. A fireworks display over the lake began around 9 p.m.

It was Williams’ second year putting on the event.

“I’ve just kind of stepped up and, with the help of Women of Steel, put something together that everyone can enjoy,” Williams said.

Alcohol wasn’t served at the event, as the union cannot promote or sell alcohol at an official function, “but everybody knows they can bring their own beer,” Williams said.

Williams added that she likes the location of the lake, and contacted businesses to try to acquire funding to make the event bigger, and would hope to do so again next year.

“The union is only as strong as its weakest link,” Williams said. “We put this on just to bring everyone together. We’ve got to try to be there for the union.”

Last modified Sept. 4, 2014

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