Whirlpool employee club’s event canceled, but members will continue tradition next year

 

Former employees of the Whirlpool Corporation’s La Porte facility have been getting together for over 20 years, re-connecting and enjoying each other’s company at a summer dinner.

But this year’s get-together, originally scheduled for Aug. 12, joins a long list of local events that have been canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic concerns. “With continued concerns and uncertainty, along with the well-being of our members and the VFW staff, we have decided to cancel this year’s event,” said Bruce Melton.

The Whirlpool La Porte Employee Club was started over 20 years ago by a dedicated group of recent retirees as a way to reconnect, having worked together for 20, 30 or even more years, Melton said. The club continued serving retirees until the corporation ceased operations in La Porte. It was around this time the club opened up to all former La Porte employees with five or more years of service at the La Porte facility.

After Whirlpool closed its La Porte facility, Melton said, many employees continued working for Whirlpool, either by commuting to the Benton Harbor offices or working from home. “This arrangement allowed those still working to connect in the same way as those who had retired,” Melton said.

The club maintains an address file of over 100 members and, depending on the year, hosts 65 to 70 at the annual summer get-together.

“Entertainment has gone by the wayside as members and their spouses simply enjoy a meal and the time to catch up with old friends,” Melton said.

“We look forward to a much better 2021.”

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