The annual golf outings hosted by the Greater St. Louis Area and Vicinity Port Council and Michigan Maritime Trades Port Council brought together union members and allies for fellowship and charity fundraising last month.
Both councils have sponsored these highly successful outdoor events for years to call attention to local labor activities.
After golf, the St. Louis PMC took time on September 29 to honor four individuals for their work in the community. Council President John Stiffler noted, “We are in this together: rank-and-file workers, management and government.”
Brother Mark Johnson received the PMC’s annual Jack Martorelli Leadership Award. A 45-year member of the CWA, Johnson got his feet wet early in the Labor Movement by being active in the late 1970’s campaign to defeat a Right-to-Work ballot initiative in Missouri.
Johnson thanked the Port Council for the award, “The Jack Martorelli Leadership Award brings tears to my eyes because there was no better man than Jack.” He also thanked his family for dealing with all time away from them on union business.
The Dick Mantia Leadership Award went to Brother Nick Trupiano, who started his union career working in a grocery store in 1972. By 1995, Trupiano was on the staff of UFCW Local 655, where he served as organizing and political director before retiring in 2017.
In thanking friends and family, Trupiano noted he had been “adopted by the Gas Workers and UFCW.” He said he was “proud we stayed active and friends.” He saluted both Dick Mantia and Jack Martorelli, both of whom led the PMC prior to their passing. “I am so proud to be given this award,’ Trupiano added.
In addition to their union work, both men are elected officials in their communities. Johnson is the Ward 3 Alderman in Dardenne Prairie, while Trupiano represents St. Peters Ward 4 as Alderman.
The PMC presented its Able Helmsman Award to Bart Saracino of Bartolino’s South. His family – starting with his father – has owned St. Louis-area restaurants since 1961.
Saracino simply said “Thank you” upon receiving his ship’s wheel.
The Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award was given to George Kerry. The Vietnam veteran, whose father was a Teamster, was born and raised in St. Louis. He spent many years as an aide to U.S. Representative Dick Gephardt (D-MO), an ally of maritime and Labor.
Kerry said he started attending PMC meetings more than 40 years ago to represent Gephardt and kept coming long after the congressman retired in 2005. “You guys have been so kind. I am deeply grateful to the Port Council to receive this unexpected award this evening,” Kerry stated.
While more than 125 people attended the St. Louis event, the Michigan PMC hosted more than 200 on September 18 at its 44th annual event.
PMC Secretary-Treasurer Todd Brdak noted this was the largest turnout since the pandemic. “We had a tremendous response. It was great to see so many come back and help out our Port Council,” Brdak added.
Funds raised by both events are used to assist area charities and non-profits.