‘Together4Oregon’ fundraiser helps unemployed

The “Together4Oregon, Together We Thrive” fundraising event broadcast live on KGW-TV July 18 and on YouTube July 25 has raised $30,000 for Oregon residents hit hardest by COVID-19. Labor’s Community Service Agency (LCSA) was one of four non-profits selected to disburse the funds that are collected.

Together4Oregon was created by Portland’s production community and includes IATSE Local 28. All production and entertainment were pro bono. The production crew and participation included IATSE Locals 28, 154, 488 ,793 as well as SAG-AFTRA and Actors’ Equity.

When the general public thinks about film, video and live event production they usually think of highly paid celebrities who can afford to be out of work for a few months. What they often don’t consider are the thousands of skilled, behind-the-scenes tradespeople who make those productions possible – electricians, carpenters, gaffers, drivers, production assistants, ushers, and concession workers.

“When COVID hit, production in Oregon stopped over-night,” said Rose Etta Venetucci, business representative of IATSE Local 28. “That meant that a whole lot of people in our state suddenly had no way to put food on their table.”

Venetucci said her members are currently at 100% unemployment, and aren’t expected to go back to regular live event work until May 2021.

But unemployed union workers weren’t the only ones to benefit from the fundraiser. In addition to LCSA, Bradley Angle, NAYA, and the Sunshine Division all shared in the proceeds.

“We chose these four nonprofits to help working families who are now unemployed and Oregonians who need these services of food, domestic violence services, and the services NAYA provides because with the entertainment industry shut down it affects many other industries whose workers are also laid off,” said Venetucci.

Major sponsors of the broadcast were United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555, Laborers Local 737, the Oregon and Southern Idaho District Council of Laborers, Teamsters Local 206, and IBEW Local 659.

Donations for the Together We Thrive fundraiser run through Aug. 18. To donate, go to together4oregon.org.

You can also donate directly to LCSA at: lcsaportland.org/donate.

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