Laborers Local 42 recently awarded three members’ children with $2,000 scholarships through the union’s annual Larry Flinn Memorial Scholarship program. The daughter of another Local 42 member won a $1,500 Opportunity Scholarship through the Eastern Missouri Laborers’ District Council.
Winners of Local 42 Larry Flinn Memorial Scholarships are:
- Thomas C. Wood, son of 35-year member Tom Wood
- Dominic Johnson, son of 17-year member Kevin Johnson
- Casey Wait, son of member Johnnie Wait
The winner of the Eastern Missouri Laborers’ District Council Opportunity Scholarship is Caelyn Hafley, daughter of member Clinton Hafley. The Opportunity Scholarship is awarded annual to one member’s child in each of the district’s nine locals.
Local 42 has awarded $118,400 in Larry Flinn Memorial Scholarships to 99 members’ children since starting the scholarship program in 1987 in memory of the local’s late Business Manager Larry Flinn.
Brandon Flinn, Local 42 business manager/secretary-treasurer and business manager of The Eastern Missouri Laborers’ District Council, presented the scholarships in a ceremony at Local 42’s Union Hall on July 13.
“Larry was a guy who never had an opportunity to go to college. He went to work when he was 11 years old, back in the day when you could do that,” Flinn said. “He never had the opportunity, but he recognized the value of a college education or trade school education, whatever it may be. It was very, very important to him. He was a highly intelligent individual.”
Congratulating the winners and wishing them success as they prepare for and move into their careers, Flinn encouraged them to always remember how they got there.
“You all, as future leaders within this community and in the workforce, please recognize and remember the hard work and dedication that your parents put in every day and the difficult disciplined nature of their jobs,” Flinn said.
“Remember that, because workers in this country are our greatest asset, and there is a movement to reduce workers’ wages, destroy workers’ rights and union rights and all of those things we and your parents have worked so hard for. As a result of their union, they’ve earned a great middle-class living with great health care benefits and a pension so they can retire with dignity and not have to work until they die.
“Just remember that as you advance in your careers in the workforce, because you are the future leaders of this country and of this community. Recognize that, and remember where you came from.”
The outstanding student winners are judged on a combination of grades, three letters of recommendation, an essay on a topic selected by the union, athletics, extra-curricular activities, community charity work and volunteerism. A special scholarship committee reviews all entries and makes the selections.