1199SEIU members in New York’s the Southern Tier braved the rain and wind on September 22 to picnic at Harris Hill Park in Elmira, NY. The gathering was to build relationships with young 1199ers in Purple Gold. Joining our picnic was Nate Shinagawa, 1999SEIU-endorsed Congressional candidate for the U.S. House District 23. Nate, an animal lover who supports his local SPCA, was happy to share the day with a surprise guest, a rescue dog named Serenity. This beautiful mixed breed Brindle endeared herself to the members and was lucky enough to be adopted that day by the Ballance family.
Tanners Paws is a brand new no-kill dog shelter starting up in Corning, NY, which takes at-risk dogs and puts them up for adoption. Christie Speciale, a former 1199er at Absolute Care at Three Rivers in Painted Post, runs Tanners Paws and brought Serenity with her to the park. 1199 member Kathy Buman, a dietary worker at Three Rivers, was joined at the picnic by her daughter and son-in-law Dixie and Jeff Ballance (both former employees of Three Rivers).
When Dixie and Jeff left for the Purple Gold picnic. they had no idea they’d be taking a new family member home with them. Their daughters Stephanie and Allison fell in love with Serenity, and even though they already have a big dog, she became a part of their lives that day.