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Thirteen AFSCME members among Union Plus Labor Day winners, including grand prize winner

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Tags: Benefits

This Labor Day, AFSCME members won big. The Unions Power America Contest and Sweepstakes awarded two groups of winners, including six AFSCME contest winners and seven AFSCME sweepstakes winners.

Each contest winner was entered along with a story about how they are positively impacting their communities, workplaces or families.

AFSCME Local 6000 member Nicki Stapleton was the contest’s Grand Prize winner and was surprised with a $25,000 check – the other five AFSCME winners received $2,000 each. The seven AFSCME sweepstakes winners, chosen randomly, received $1,000 each. See the full list of winners at unionplus.org/laborday, and tune into the winner announcement video to learn more about Nicki and the other big prizewinners.

Here is a peek into these AFSCME members’ inspiring stories: 

Nicki Stapleton is a force in her community. Not only does she show up at and organize as many community events as possible, including through the LGBTQ+ group in her police department, but she operates a Little Free Pantry outside her home. Stapleton said, “I make sure our community is fed and do my best to create an inclusive environment where people do not worry about judgement when they are seeking a little extra help with food. A community is only as good as its least served members.” 

Kate Milde was nominated by a colleague at AFSCME Local 2422, where Milde serves as president, in addition to her job at her local youth and family services. Her colleague said, “I am in awe of her efforts to do the RIGHT THING in this union with NO expectation for anything in return.” 

Nancy Mir-Elcik is a first-generation Cuban-America who works as a paralegal. She said, “My desire to help the immigrant population accomplish their goals in starting their own business in this country is what drives me. I go above and beyond my job description because every immigrant I encounter reminds me of my parents and the struggles they faced.” 

Shakira Butler hopes to use her winnings to take her son on a long-wished for trip to Disneyland. Her son has a rare lung disease that has kept him in and out of the hospital, and on especially strict home lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Butler said, “This has been the hardest journey of our lives. I would love to take him to places he may never be able to see [otherwise].” 

Kristen Chagolla works hard to lead her local high school’s Athletic Boosters to give teens a safe and structured option to fill their free time through sports. She said, “I wanted to expand on my belief of ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ with more community involvement. Violence seems to be at an all-time high in our community.” 

Erin Heneghan is pursuing a social work degree, inspired by the help she received while raising her late sister’s daughter. She said, “My goal is to pay it forward.” She added, “[Being an AFSCME member has] allowed me to provide the life for [my niece] that she deserved. I am forever grateful.” 

The Sweepstakes winners are listed below: 

Please join us in congratulating these hardworking AFSCME members! 

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