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Machinists to host Hawgs for Dogs Bike Run

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An Inaugural Hawgs for Dogs Bike Run benefiting Guide Dogs of America (GDA) takes place July 12 between Upper Marlboro and Hollywood, MD. The event will be hosted by the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) and the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center. "With the help of thousands of people who host events, donate money, fund raise and volunteer, Guide Dogs of America has become an advocate for the visually impaired," said Dora Cervantes, IAMAW General Vice President. "Guide Dogs of America is a vibrant organization helping those in need of a seeing eye dog who cannot afford to get a service animal," she said.

The cost of the bike run is $30 per person (rider and passenger) for those who pre-register. On-site registration, which begins at 8:00 a.m., is also available for $40, according to the Machinists Union. Organizers say the event starts at 9:00 a.m. at IAMAW's Headquarters, 9000 Machinists Place in Upper Marlboro. The bike run ends at 24494 Placid Harbor Way in Hollywood.

Cervantes said the money raised helps to feed, house and train the dogs, who are then trained side-by-side with those receiving the animals. "You never know when you or someone close by will be in need of a service animal. I am proud to raise money, assist and volunteer for such a great cause," Cervantes said. "The gratitude one gets when you do something good for someone in need, is what motivates me to be a part of this fundraising event."

Participants who register will receive a T-shirt, do-rag and meal. Poker card drawings are scheduled, along with raffle prizes. For more information and/or registration, call (301) 967-4702. The inaugural honoree is Robert Roach, Jr., General Secretary-Treasurer of the Machinists Union. All are welcome, according to Cindy Williams, of IAMAW.

Guide Dogs of America was founded more than 60 years ago by Joseph Jones, Sr., with the assistance of the Machinists Union. GDA says Jones was a retiree who had applied to all existing schools at the time, but was turned away because of his so-called advanced age of 57.

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