IBEW Local 125 appeals for funds for man burned in an unprovoked attack at Denny’s

IBEW Local 125 has issued a $100,000 challenge to union members and industry partners to help a Portland man who was seriously burned in an unprovoked assault at a restaurant.

On the night of March 4, Scott Ranstrom, a 69-year-old man from Happy Valley, was drinking coffee and playing on his computer at the neighborhood Denny’s restaurant, where he is a regular. A short while later, 24-year-old Deshawn Swanger came into the restaurant and sat down in the booth next to Ranstrom. Swanger then committed one of the most heinous acts of random violence anyone has ever heard when he allegedly threw gasoline on Ranstrom and lit him on fire.

Ranstrom was taken to Legacy Oregon Burn Center, where he is still being treated for his injuries. Initial estimates indicate that bills will approach $100,000 or more.

“Instead of enjoying this phase of his life, Mr. Ranstrom must now fight to recover from this devastating act of violence,” said Marcy Grail, assistant business manager of Local 125.

Local 125, which represents outside linemen and women, knows that Ranstrom is in good hands at the Burn Center. Over the years members who have sustained severe burns on the job have recovered there. And a good portion of Local 125 fundraising events goes to help expand the Burn Center and its services.

Now, Local 125 is asking union members and industry partners for help to support a member of the community. Last month at a shop steward training, a number of Local 125 members donated either their expenses and/or wages to the cause. To date, the union has raised $2,000.

Grail said that although there is a GoFundMe account set up to help Ranstrom, the union prefers to self-fundraise in order to save the roughly 10 percent that GoFundMe charges for its service.

If excess funds are raised, they will go to the Legacy Family House project on behalf of the Pacific Northwest Lineman Rodeo.

For more information, call 503-262-9125.

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