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St. Louis to host BLET for 79th annual SWCM

CLEVELAND, July 24 — Members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen will convene in St. Louis for the 79th annual Southwestern Convention Meeting (SWCM), September 7-11, 2014.

Upcoming deadlines are August 6 for hotel room reservations and August 15 for discounted convention registration. Event registration will be accepted after August 15, but the registration fee will increase by $25 per person.

Arrangements Chairman D.W. Grimes (Local Chairman, Division 42) and his wife Gail are organizing a week of educational opportunities for BLET members and their families. Also hard at work are members of the arrangements committee, including Division 42 member Mike Gurley and wife Lisa, Division 42 Legislative Representative Mike McGill and wife Jean, Division 42 President Scott McKinley, Division 42 Secretary-Treasurer Jason Schroeder and the rest of Division 42. Division 6 member David J. Grimes and wife Rachael and Iowa State Legislative Board Chairman Orlando Penrod and wife Anastacia are also helping with the convention.

Members can download a PDF registration form from the SWCM website. The registration fee is $150 per person if postmarked by August 15, 2014, or $175 if postmarked after.

Guests will stay at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark (1 South Broadway, St. Louis, MO), which is right by Busch Stadium, home of Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals. It is also within steps of the iconic St. Louis Gateway Arch. The BLET has secured a room rate of $130 per night and reservations can be made online here or by calling the hotel, (314) 421-1776. Be sure to ask for the BLET/SWCM group rate when booking your stay.

While the Cardinals will be out of town during the SWCM, Brother Grimes has arranged for a dinner event at the stadium on September 9. Dinner will take place on the field between the dugouts, and the bull pen will be open for those willing to test their pitching arms. Catchers and a radar gun will be on site for the event.

The 79th SWCM begins on Sunday, September 7, with the annual SWCM Texas Hold Em Poker Tournament. Proceeds from the event are donated to the SWCM Scholarship Fund. Deadline to register for this fund raising event is August 15, and PDF registration forms are available here.

The annual SWCM golf tournament is scheduled for Monday, September 8. The 18-hole Fair Oaks Golf Club in St. Louis features a front nine Scottish-style layout with native prairie grasses and wildflowers. Registration deadline is August 25. For non-golfers, there is a tour of the Museum of Transportation slated for September 8.

Educational opportunities begin on September 8 with an OSHA training workshop. The convention kicks off with opening ceremonies the morning of September 9. Numerous other workshops will be held on September 10, and the 2014 SWCM will conclude with a banquet and special entertainment that evening. Instead of a traditional dance at the banquet, SWCM organizers have scheduled a concert featuring an Eagles tribute band.

For more information, please visit the SWCM website or contact Arrangements Chairman D.W. Grimes at (573) 776-8333 or dgrimes1355@gmail.com.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

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