Machinists Union poker tournament at Tulalip raises $9,000 for charity

TULALIP — Machinists Union Local Lodge 751-C's first-ever "All in For Guide Dogs" Texas Hold 'Em tournament proved to be a good deal, according to event participants.

"It was a great time," Local 751-C President Ron Coen said. "The casino did a great job for us."

The Tulalip Resort Casino near Marysville hosted the event, which raised more than $9,000 for Guide Dogs of America, a California-based charity that provides service dogs to people across North America who are blind or have impaired vision.

A full field of 100 players took part in the tournament, which was won in the end by Joey Fischer, a Machinists Union member who works for Boeing in Auburn.

Coen thanked all the sponsors and participants, as well as managers at the casino.

"We had a lot of fun and raised money for a great cause," he said. "We're looking forward to doing it again."

Local 751-C is one of four local lodges affiliated with Machinists Union District Lodge 751 in Seattle. As a group, District 751 was the top fundraiser for Guide Dogs of America in 2011, collecting more than $263,000.

Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at Boeing, District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents some 32,000 working men and women at 48 employers across Washington, Oregon and California. In 2011, members of the union's Machinists Volunteer Program donated more than 10,000 hours to community service work, while other volunteers raised more than $263,000 for Guide Dogs of America, the union's charity of choice.

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