NSNC Scholarship 2016
Members planning to attend the June 23-26 conference of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists already are making plans on what to bring to the auction.
Auction? Silent and live auctions have been a part of the annual get-together for some years. Proceeds benefit the NSNC Education Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. (The society is nonprofit as well, but a 501(c)6 professional league.) The money specifically funds the annual college scholarship.
The column contest for a scholarship has begun. While all three finalists are honored, the winner receives the $1,000 Jeff Zaslow College Columnist Award, plus being our expense-paid guest at the conference.
Faith blogger and retired Kansas City Star columnist Bill Tammeus, 1992-94 NSNC president, has started off a discussion about what to donate:
“Some of you remember back when I hosted (Is that a verb now? Yuck) the NSNC conference in Kansas City in 1995 and I took you to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM), which, at the time, was in temporary headquarters across the street from where it’s now located near 18th and Vine (you know the KC song).
“The late (though not at the time) Buck O’Neil, one of the world’s greatest human beings and a former Negro Leagues great, met us and told us fabulous stories for almost two hours.
“Last week, I called my friend Bob Kendrick, president of the NLBM, and asked if he’d donate a few NLBM items for the upcoming NSNC-EF auction. Of course, he said. So yesterday I picked up a couple of hats and a couple of T-shirts for the auction. They are not, of course, hats and T-shirts that celebrate the Royals as 2015 World Champions. But if you wear them, everyone with any damn sense will connect them with the Royals terrific victory over the Mets.
“I want you to think now about how much you want — crave, really — those items. You might even want to start out-dueling each other for them by e-mail before we get to LA in June.
“Oh, and what the heck have the rest of you secured for this auction? (By the way, I’m not done yet.)”
Maggie Van Ostrand writes she’ll bring “framed sketch of a manual typewriter.”
While we’re awaiting to learn of the auction items of other conferees, note that our goodies range in value from a very few bucks to, well, nicely-nicely. They’re not just goods but have included tours, plane tickets and luxury cabin stays. One thing to note, though, is many folks will be flying to Los Angeles, so security regulations and luggage policies may thwart bids on larger items and, for example, jars of homemade jam.
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Students (and supporters of students): There’s no fee to enter the scholarship contest. The deadline is March 30, 2016. Travel and registration for NSNC’s 40th annual conference, which this year will be staged June 23-26 at the Hotel Angeleno in Los Angeles, is another reward for the first-place winner.
— Ben Pollock, NSNC director of media