Steel retirees will give up to three scholarships


Essay contest is April 29


Illinois Correspondent

Granite City – Trade will be the topic of the 8th annual SOAR Jane Becker scholarship contest, with the awards to be presented at an Aug. 14 banquet.

Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR) Chapter 7-34-2 will present up to three awards to 2017 high school graduates who are related to active SOAR members and will go to school in the fall seeking a bachelor’s or associate’s degree or a professional or technical certificate in a program of at least two years in the U.S. or Canada.

Applicants will write essays on the morning of Saturday, April 29 at the Tri-Cities Labor Temple, 2014 State St., Granite City. Time is not limited, and essays must be at least two pages.

This year’s topic will be: “How Does Fair Trade Differ from Free Trade?”

SOAR suggests local libraries, the Internet and the Illinois Labor History Society as sources for books and other materials.

Applicants may bring a dictionary and writing equipment but not articles, books, computers, cell phones or tablets, essays, notes, outlines or reference material. SOAR will provide paper. Three judges will grade the papers using a blind identification system.

The awards have risen gradually to the $3,000 range and were given to two winners last year. Winners get half the money when they register and the other half after they have completed a semester with at least a “C” average.

Applicants will need to submit application documents by April 15 by mailing them to SOAR Scholarships, 10 Central Industrial Drive, Suite 4, Granite City IL 62040.

The materials can be obtained from SOAR chapter President Jeff Rains by calling (618) 452-1130 or sending email to

Each applicant must be a son or daughter, grandchild, great-grandchild or legal ward of a SOAR member. Winners must attend the Aug. 14 banquet.


The banquet will also serve as the group’s awards banquet with presentation of the Friend of SOAR award and recognition for active members and friends in the community.

The event will be at Neighborhood Social Club, 4168 Illinois Route 162 in Pontoon Beach. Tickets are $20 or $35 a couple in advance from Jeff Rains or $25 and $40 at the door. A table for six is $115. Attendance prizes and raffles are planned.

Doors open at 11 a.m. with the luncheon at noon and the program at 1 p.m.

Supporters may buy space in the program book at $50 for a quarter-page, $80 for a half page, $150 for a full page or $250 for a two-page ad. Graphics and photos must be camera ready and in black and white. Contact Dennis Barker at (618) 660-5193 for consultation.


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