A check for over $5,300 was
presented on Aug. 29 to Kim Herron, wife of the late Buddy Herron, an Eastern
Oregon Correction Institution officer and member of Local 3361 who was murdered
last year in a well-documented story. The check was presented by Local 974, the
AFSCME Security local at neighboring Two Rivers Correctional Institution in
Umatilla, following a fundraising effort.
The money was raised by
selling commemorative coins honoring Herron's life. The front side of the coin
featured a Corrections logo with a black mourning banner; the flip side
acknowledged Herron's involvement with the Helix Volunteer Fire Department.
"Local 974's Mike Seefeldt,
with the help of many others, did the lion's share of the work," says Local 974
President Scott Campbell. "Mike's effort, and the support of the local union's
executive board, made the financial contribution possible."
Seefeldt and Local 974
received coin orders from throughout Oregon and Washington. Campbell expressed
particular appreciation to Local 3943, the Security local at Santiam
Correctional Institution in Salem, which purchased a coin for each of their
members. Additionally, Campbell noted Washington State Teamsters Local 117
donated $250 to support the family.
"Both Santiam and the
Teamsters were sent plaques in recognition of their efforts as a thank you from
Local 974," said Campbell. "Their support and understanding went above and
beyond to take care of our own."
Local 974 has established a
memorial fund in which future projects can be managed. Therefore, if the local
union should provide support to another family, Campbell said they have the
means to do so.
"Speaking for the executive
board of AFSCME Local 974, I would like to personally thank every member who
purchased a coin to make this donation a reality," he said.
Following is Seefeldt's
recap of the experience.
By MICHAEL SEEFELDT
Local 974 (Two Rivers
I had the idea of a Memorial Challenge coin fundraiser
following the senseless murder of Officer Buddy Ray Herron. The idea
actually came from a similar fundraising effort I had supported for Jayme
Biendl of Monroe Correctional Complex in Washington state.
Eight long months later, and with the help of some special
people, I finally was able to present Kim Herron with a check in the amount of
$5,350 from the proceeds of the Buddy Herron memorial coin sales, as well as a
plaque with five coins and an Oregon Corrections patch as well as a Helix Fire
Department patch encased in memory and honor of Buddy.
AFSCME Local 974 provided the initial funding for this
project. Led by Local 974 President Scott Campbell, the local forged ahead
and supported this effort, showing great interest and helping where they
could. Scott was a wonderful resource and provided much needed guidance
Council 75 Communications Director Don Loving helped by
promoting the coin on the Oregon AFSCME website. Soon, I received
inquiries from around the state. Teamsters Local 117 of Monroe, Wash., provided
guidance and a generous donation.
The Oregon Department of Corrections Transport Teams from
Two Rivers and the Oregon State Penitentiary provided assistance with shipping
the coins around the state. Lieutenant Ron Schultz and Corey Fhuere were
very helpful in assuring the coins reached their destinations.
Oneness Fish, Monique Doran, Kirt Hickey, Jay Larkin
(Snohomish County, Wash.), Captain Jost, Anthony Asay, Darby Kyle, Debra
Schlueter, Jeff Iles, Jessica Andersen, Sonny Rider, Julie Martin, Lisa
Jaensch, Richard Adams, Paul Mulligan and Ronald Berry were all instrumental in
this project, selling the coins in their respective facilities and
offices. A special thanks goes out to Dave Shotts at EOCI for his efforts.
And an extra special thanks also goes out to Santiam Correctional Institution's
AFSCME Local 3943, who voted to purchase a coin for each of their members to
support the Herron family.
This was a challenging project, but I believe we were
successful in helping the family of a fallen hero. My heartfelt thanks go
out to all of you and I salute you.