MASSENA — United Steelworkers Local 420-A members made the holidays brighter for Massena’s food pantries and their clients.
Members collected $500, which was used to purchase 46 turkeys that were distributed to The Salvation Army, Massena Meals on Wheels, St. Vincent de Paul and the Massena Neighborhood Center on Friday. The deliveries were made by Paul Beckstead and retiree Dale Dalton.
Mr. Beckstead said the idea originated from a conversation with Pete Matthews, who said another local was collecting money and purchasing turkeys for food pantries. Mr. Beckstead organized the local effort.
“I took over the reins. It was kind of spur of the moment. It’s the first time, so there’s a learning curve,” he said. “The community has done so much for us. We want to give back to say thank you for supporting us through all of our tough times.”
Members had ratified a new three-year master contract with Arconic in July and a new four-year master contract with Alcoa in September. Those agreements followed an announcement by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in March that Alcoa would remain a part of the Massena community for the next seven years, until 2026.
Mr. Beckstead said the community had stood with them through those times, and now it was time to thank them. He, Mr. Dalton and 420-A President Mark Goodfellow purchased the turkeys from the Massena Walmart Supercenter. Shoppers quizzically glanced as Mr. Beckstead and Mr. Dalton transferred turkeys to three carts, with Mr. Goodfellow keeping tabs on the price tags.
The turkeys were loaded into the back of Mr. Dalton’s truck and the deliveries began, first to The Salvation Army, followed by Massena Meals on Wheels, St. Vincent de Paul and the Massena Neighborhood Center, where each organization expressed thanks for the gifts that will be used to help others in the community who need assistance during the holiday season.