VANCOUVER, Wash. — Ed Barnes, a retired business manager of IBEW Local 48, was the top fundraiser at the seventh annual “Dancing with the Local Stars” benefit for the Fort Vancouver National Trust. Barnes collected $25,500.
This year marked the first time that someone from organized labor was invited to participate in the mostly business affair. “I did it to let the business world know that union members are out there supporting their communities, too,” Barnes said.
Overall, $115,000 was raised at the Sept. 15 dance competition held at the Pearson Air Museum and attended by nearly 400 people.
Seven local “stars” were partnered with Arthur Murray Dance Studio instructors and taught dance routines. The community then “voted” for their favorite dancer with their dollars both online and at the event. The dancer who raised the most money was declared the winner. Each dancer committed to raise $5,000.
Barnes has been soliciting donations from union and community members for several months, after a challenge to outperform Ryan Hart, district director for Republican Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler.
Barnes set up a booth and donation jar at this year’s Labor Day picnic at Oaks Park, complete with a cardboard cutout of himself dressed in his dancing garb. The picnic was attended by nearly 18,000 people.
Barnes performed a foxtrot with his dance partner Kaylyn Haynes.
Barnes also received an award for “Best Entrance,” voted by the audience. He was chauffered into the building in Local 48’s electric Chevy Volt automobile (photo below left) by current union Business Manager Clif Davis and his wife Theresa.
“Without the hard work of these seven community stars this event would not be possible,” said Elson Strahan, president and CEO of the Fort Vancouver National Trust. “We are immensely grateful for their dedication and support.”
The Fort Vancouver National Trust is a private non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the preservation and education purposes of Fort Vancouver National Site. For more information, visit www.fortvan.org