When Mason Nguyen-Quiroga was diagnosed with the rare muscle disease Dermatomyositis at the tender age of eight years old, he spent seven weeks in the hospital and was confined to a wheelchair for more than a year. Now, two years later, Mason still needs daily medications and weekly injections. Kids with Mason’s condition usually don’t get to go to summer camp, but the Muscular Dystrophy Association office near his home in Fresno sponsors a special camp just for kids with muscle disease, with doctors, nurses, counselors and support staff on hand to help ensure children that need more assistance can safely enjoy Camp Tuolumne Trails.
Thanks to the MDA local Fresno office, ten-year-old Mason just completed his 2nd year at camp. He told his stepfather, IBEW 1245 Organizing Steward P.J. Saenz, “It was awesome! Can’t wait until next year!” Mason’s experience has inspired his stepdad to do what he can to give back to the MDA and keep the camp going for Mason and other kids like him.
As one of the coordinators of the IBEW 1245 Fresno Charity Bowl, Saenz proposed making the Fresno MDA the official charity of this year’s bowling event, which took place on June 27th. The second annual event was a rousing success, with 22 bowlers and 60 attendees raising more than $2,000 for this very worthy cause – twice as much as was raised at last year’s event. The event organizers from IBEW will be delivering the check to the MDA’s Fresno office next week.
“Everyone’s a winner!”
The event was definitely a family affair, with lots of young bowlers-in-training joining their parents on the lanes. The air-conditioned bowling alley providing a much-needed reprieve from the sweltering summer weather.
IBEW 1245 Business Reps Gracie Nunez and Rey Mendoza, Organizing Stewards Georgette Carrillo and Melissa Becerril, Shop Stewards Eddie Moreno, Joe Sanchez, and Anita Chavez, prospective Organizing Steward Ashley Boles and member Aracely Magana assisted with raising donations from the gracious support of members within IBEW 1245, UFCW 8, SEIU 521 and the Fresno-Madera-Tulare-Kings Central Labor Council. Member Luis Sandoval brought old friends from high school. UFCW 8’s Jerry Hunsucker and Jim Avalos bowled with Dillon Savory of the Labor Council. Hunsucker even helped sell raffle tickets during the event. Prize items included a 50 inch LED TV, a Blu-Ray player, the movie “Cesar Chavez” and IBEW 1245 emblem merchandise. Attendee Raul Reyes was shocked when he won the Grand Prize TV.
“For those who escaped the heat and tried to roll strikes, the atmosphere was very friendly, wild, and fun,” said Saenz, who worked with fellow Organizing Steward Miguel Pagan to coordinate the event. “Nobody walked away without enjoying some laughs and everyone was a winner!”
P.J. Saenz contributed to this report.