“We take our little league seriously,” said Javier Solheim, a 17-year Teamster mill operator at GP Gypsum.  Javier’s son, Andrew, is 8-years old and plays baseball for the Rainiers, a team based in Lakewood.  Last year, the Rainiers were 12-0, and won a league championship.   

“It’s competitive baseball, they keep stats and everything.  They even have a website,” he said.

While in contract negotiations, Javier heard about his Union’s community sponsorship program, and he filled out an application.  The Union agreed to sponsor his son’s team for the 2013 season. 

Since 2010, Teamsters 117 has sponsored community groups, including labor rights groups, sports teams, musical groups, academic groups, etc.  Sponsorship applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.  Award recipients are announced at our quarterly membership meetings.  

“Most of the money went towards uniforms,” Javier said. “It was a really big help, especially for the families that couldn’t afford it.”

On January 29, Javier came down to the Union hall to present a plaque to Secretary-Treasurer Thompson, expressing his appreciation for the support. 

“It means a lot to all of us,” he said.  “Now the kids say, ‘We’re a Teamster team!’  I just want to thank the Union – 117. They’ve done a lot for me and my family over the years.”