From the Toledo Free Press:
Troy Winkelman recently found himself facing months of chemotherapy without a stable family health insurance plan because his father was laid off from General Motors.
The 13-year-old was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a form of bone cancer, approximately a year ago and since then he and his family have had to travel to various places for expensive medical procedures. Tracie Chovan, a laid off toolmaker for GM, organized an auction to support him and said she hopes to help his family out with at least $8,000.
“We found that once everything started happening in the auto industry, it really came to our eyes how lay-offs affect all the people we work with and the people in the community with insurance,” Chovan said.
The Union Brothers and Sisters will host the auction on August 14 at the UAW Local 14, at 5411 Jackman Road. A silent auction accompanied with food and refreshments starts at 6 p.m., followed by a live auction at 6:30 p.m. The event lasts until 9 p.m.
Chovan said a wide variety of businesses and individuals have donated more than 400 different items ranging from furniture, to gift certificates, to musical instruments and other items.
Troy’s family will receive most of the proceeds from the auction, but one other family will also benefit from some of the profits, Chovan added.
Union members hope to sponsor the auction next year to support another family affected by GM layoffs, and intend to help families in the community that aren’t related to GM each year after GM workers start getting their jobs back, she said.