Funds From Chicago Elevator Constructors’ Annual Golf Outing Help Experts Fight Diabetes

ElevatorInfo just had an opportunity to travel to Chicago to check out the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) Local 2 Annual Golf Outing. Hundreds of golfers from the Chicago area and across the country look forward to the outing each year, as the event is a perfect time to connect with old friends and contribute to finding a cure for diabetes.

Tom Karlya (Senior Vice President, Philanthropy and Union Liaison, Diabetes Research Institute Foundation) took time to speak with ElevatorInfo at this year’s outing. Karlya – also known as “Diabetes Dad” – had nothing but great things to say about his friends in the elevator industry and across the building trades unions.

“One of our biggest fundraisers is IUEC Local 2’s golf outing,” said Tom Karlya. “We are so grateful for the support of our brothers and sisters in the elevator trade. Any real, major research step forward in the diabetes world – a lot of it started at the Diabetes Research Institute. Local 2’s support is amazing – they’ve been with us every step of the way. Their money helps fund critical research, and eventually this research goes to bigger and bigger things.”

IUEC Local 2 has been actively supporting the Diabetes Research Institute for more than two decades.

“We have more than 460 golfers here. For an event of this scale, it takes a lot of good people to put it together. The golfers, the donors, the union members – each person plays an invaluable role,” said John Valone, National Coordinator with the Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund and a former IUEC Local 2 Business Manager. “We’re not done until diabetes is cured.”

The energy throughout the outing is nothing short of contagious. Each golfer, event organizer, and supporter is focused on finding a way to beat diabetes (and having fun while doing so!). This year alone, the golf outing raised more than $70,000. In total, the Local 2 golf outing has generated more than $700,000 for the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.

“It’s love. We’re supposed to do this in life – we’re supposed to take care of other people. It’s the right thing to do,” said IUEC General President Frank J. Christensen.

The Diabetes Research Institute houses teams of scientists, engineers, and clinicians with the expertise required to tackle diabetes from many angles. If you or your organization may be interested in getting involved with the fight for a cure for diabetes, please contact us here: