By: Jim Vannucchi, Director
Each year, on behalf of the membership of SFFF LOCAL 798, these offices are please to make an award of three $500.00 scholarships to the children of active LOCAL 798 members.

This scholarship fund was created in recognition of the many years of selfless dedication that James T. Ferguson imparted as president of this organization.

This years recipients are Phyllis Blanchard, daughter of Ralph Blanchard, Bonnie Smith, daughter of Terry Smith, and Jason Menefee, son of Mike Menefee. Our deepest congratulations and best wishes to them all.

James T. Ferguson Scholarship

My parents belong to a Union because they believe that fair and equal employment rights are crucial. They believe that the small voices can be heard when they organize and speak as one. Unions level the playing field so that every worker has an equal chance to succeed much like in Cross-Country. Even though a team my not have the top runner, teamwork and careful planning can help propel any team to success. By seeing the benefits of my parents being involved in a Union, I hope that I will have the opportunity to join one when I enter the workforce after college.

Thank you,
Phyllis Blanchard

(Daughter of Ralph Blanchard, San Francisco Fire Fighters Local 798 and Linda Blanchard, California School Employee Association Chapter 645)

To Whom it May Concern,

My Father is Michael Menefee, and he belongs to a union for many reasons. The main reasons are that they work, maintain, and improve working conditions, compensation, and benefits, most importantly being health care. Another reason is that its like one big brotherhood. Everyone shares the same views, and want the same things. A union will always do its best to negotiate for the well being of its members. This is why my father belongs to a union.

Jason Menefee

Dear Firefighters,

A celebration in the form of a massive walk and demonstration was held in San Diego today in honor of Cesar Chavez a farm laborer, who organized farmhands into their first union. This massive demonstration of people came to support the movement and struggles farm workers encounter in their everyday jobs and livelihood. Speeches denoted the economic problems the state is encountering and in turn, laborers stand to lose wages, workers compensation, and health benefits when times are bad. The plight of farm workers just mirrors the story of thousand of union workers across the state and nation fighting to keep their jobs and their benefits.

My father, Terry Smith, was a director for the firefighters union during the 1980’s, and always remarks that the food on the table and the clothes on my back are from the good of the union getting better wages and benefits. I realize the work union officers partake when they deal with city officers in trying to raise wages, get

health benefits, and keep workers safe. I am currently a part time waitress, have been a lifeguard, and worked at a coffee shop. All of my previous work experience has provided no benefit package and few chances for wage increases. There was no one to fight for our rights if we found something wrong, a place to turn to for guidance and relief and assurance that we were represented.

In conclusion, it is with great pride that I apply for the Jim Ferguson Scholarship. My father told me, Mr. Ferguson was the backbone of the union for twenty-five years and as its president led the fight for all the brave San Francisco Firefighters.

Sincerely Yours,
Bonnie Smith

June 6, 2004

Dear Local #798,

Many thanks for the much needed James Ferguson Scholarship. I will be attending San Francisco State in the fall of 2004. Hopefully, this money is a springboard to a fruitful college career.

Gratefully yours,
Bonnie Smith


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