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Minneapolis to host BLET for 74th annual IWC

CLEVELAND, May 6 — Minneapolis, Minn., will be the host city for members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen attending the 74th annual International Western Convention (IWC) from June 29-July 3, 2014.

Event Chairman Dave Brown, Chairman of the Minnesota State Legislative Board and Legislative Representative of BLET Division 517 (St. Paul, Minn.), is confident the temperature will be above freezing and there will be no ice fishing at this year’s IWC.

Brother Brown and the key members of his Arrangements Committee — Cheri Brown, BLET Auxiliary Member-At-Large, Kevin Foley, Local Chairman of Division 517, and Mark Anderson, Legislative Representative of Division 333 — are planning an IWC filled with educational opportunities and leisure time activities.

Guests will stay at the Minneapolis Hilton (1001 Marquette Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55403) and reservations can be made online or by calling (612) 376-1000 or (866) 256 2678. Be sure to ask for the BLET group rate when making your reservations by phone. The room rate is $135 per night, plus tax, if reserved prior to June 6, 2014. The $135 room rate is good three days prior and three days after the event, but rooms are subject to availability.

Brother Brown advises that Minneapolis has the largest fireworks display west of the Mississippi River for those who wish to extend their stay through the July 4 holiday.

Members can begin to register on-site as early as June 29. Registration continues on June 30, which is the day of the annual IWC golf tournament, to be held at the Prestwick Golf Course. It was recently rated as the third best golf course in the Twin Cities. Minnesota has over 575 golf courses and was the first state to host all USGA championships. It is also home to the Champions Tour – 3M Championship, and will host the Ryder Cup in 2016.

Also on June 30 is a trip to the world-famous Mall of America. The Mall of America boasts over 540 stores and is large enough to fit seven Yankee Stadiums inside its vast complex. A special Beatles exhibit will be on display at the Midwest Music Museum during the 2014 IWC. Mall attractions of special interest to children include the Nickelodeon Universe Amusement Park, the Sea Life Aquarium and the Barbie Dreamhouse. A welcome reception concludes the day’s events.

The convention gets into full swing on July 1 with the opening ceremonies in the morning. The afternoon includes a BLET closed meeting and a meeting for the BLET Auxiliary. Members will enjoy a dinner cruise featuring a live Dixieland band in the evening.

Six educational workshops are currently on the tentative agenda for July 2, including training for Secretary-Treasurers, Legislative Representatives and Local Chairmen. There are also workshops regarding hazardous materials awareness, the BLET national mobilization network, and an OSHA whistleblower seminar.

The 2014 IWC concludes with a banquet the evening of July 2. Brother Brown has made arrangements for enjoyable entertainment during the banquet.

With over 60 museums and theaters to choose from, the city of Minneapolis is considered by many to be the cultural capital of the Midwest. The IWC team is organizing trips to several of the city’s top museums and cultural centers, including the Minnesota Children’s Museum and the James J. Hill House, builder of the Great Northern Railway.

“We are looking forward to hosting this year’s IWC and welcoming everyone to Minnesota,” says Chairman Dave Brown. “We have many important educational opportunities and fun activities planned for members and families, and there is always plenty to see and do in the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis.”

The early registration deadline is June 22. For registration forms, please visit the BLET National Division website: www.ble-t.org/iwc.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

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