Local 355 Administrative Clerical Employees

Remembering the Kleen Energy Victims

Channel 3's Katry Zachry interviews event organizers Jim Sipperly and John Milardo of the Middletown Management and Professionals Association, AFT.

A coalition of unions representing Middletown public and private sector workers held a press confernce April 8 to announce the details of a major fundraiser that will benefit the families of the victims killed in the Kleen Energy Plant explosion in February. 

The Kleen Energy Family Fundraiser will take place Saturday, April 17, 2010 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Middletown High School, 200 LaRosa Lane, Middletown. Great raffle prizes will be awarded throughout the evening, and there will be a brief ceremony to honor the Kleen Energy workers and families affected by the terrible blast. 

Monies raised from the April 17 will benefit the families, either through the purchase of dinner tickets or direct contributions to the Kleen Energy Memorial Fund administered by the MidConn Credit Union. Tickets are $20 for the dinner, with children 10 and under free.

The local union coalition members that have volunteered and donated their services includes Middletown City Hall and Board of Education Employees, Council 4 Local 466; Middletown Police Employees Union, AFSCME Local 1361; Middletown Managers and Professionals Association, AFT Local 6092, International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1073; Laborers Local 611; Carpenters Local 24; and Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 777; UNITE-HERE; and Machinists Local Lodge 700.

“We are thankful for the participation of the unions and the community in bringing about this special event,” said Edward Reilly, President of the Greater Hartford/New Britain Building Trades Council, a coalition of unions whose members include those affected by the explosion. “We hope everyone will honor the Kleen Energy workers and their families by supporting the fundraiser in any way possible.”

“I am very proud that unions, businesses and every day people of this city have united to help the families of the victims of this tragedy,” said Middletown Mayor Sebastian Giuliano. “Our hearts go out to the families who are still grieving the loss of loved ones.” 

John Milardo, President of the Middletown Managers & Professionals Association (MMPA), said: “It’s amazing and inspiring to see how the Middletown community has stepped forward in this time of heartbreak for the Kleen Energy workers and their families. We thank all the individuals and organizations who have worked hard to help the families and who were instrumental in organizing this special event.” 

Said AFSCME Local 466 President Jeff Daniels, “We in the labor movement have a saying: pray for the dead and fight for the living. The Kleen Energy benefit dinner is all about remembering those who died and doing our part to help those who survived.” 

The MMPA’s James Sipperly added, “Our union coalition feels strongly about doing our part to help heal the wounds of this terrible tragedy. We are grateful to the countless people who have stepped up to the plate. April 17 will be a very special day because of their efforts.” 

In addition to the items that will be raffled on April 17, tickets will be sold for a June 26, 2010 raffle featuring a Harley Davidson Sportster donated by Yankee Harley Davidson of Bristol. The Lion’s Den of Middletown will hold an amateur fight night on the June 26th date at the Hartford Convention Center, during which time the bike will be raffled.

Ed Reilly of the Greater Hartford-New Britain Building Trades Council and Craig Salamoni of the Lion's Den speak at the press conference.

For more information, or to obtain tickets, contact John Milardo at (860) 344-3552 or scroll down for the event flyer. If you would like to contribute directly to the victims and family fund, please send your check to: Families of Kleen Energy Tragedy c/o MiddConn Federal Credit Union, 213 Court Street, Middletown, CT 06457.

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