Retired Steelworkers to host annual scholarship, awards luncheon

SOARTickets are still available for the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR) Chapter 34-7-2 annual “Jane Becker” scholarship and awards banquet on Monday, Aug. 10.

The event will be held at the Neighborhood Social Club at 4168 State Route 162 in Pontoon Beach, Ill. Doors open at 11 a.m. with a cash bar. The luncheon will begin at noon, and the awards program starts at 1 p.m. Tickets are $20 at the door.

During the event, the organization will present two $3,000 scholarships to two local high school seniors.

“Each year, we’ve been able to increase the amount that we award our scholarship winners, and we hope to continue that tradition in the future,” said SOAR President Jeff Raines.

In addition to the scholarship awards, the group will also present a series of awards to others who are leading the charge for working and retired workers and to those who have volunteered in the community to make the group more effective as a whole.


George Becker, a Metro East steelworker, was elected as the union’s international president in 1993. He served through 2001, and he remains highly regarded for leading the union through mergers, reorganization, tough bargaining and safety improvements.

His wife, Jane Becker, was an organizer and mentor for union and political workers, was active with charities and played a vital role in helping to found Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR), the national retirees group.

Shortly after she died in 2013, SOAR’s Chapter 7-34-2 paid tribute to Jane Becker by naming its scholarship program after her. Money is raised for the scholarship program through an advertising booklet given out at the annual August banquet and through donations.

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