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Thursday, June 8, 2006 02:33 pm

The beneficiaries

The honor roll of past Steele Memorial scholarship winners

The beneficiaries The honor roll of past Steele Memorial scholarship winners
Begun as a labor of love and remembrance by the family of the late Mike Steele, the golf tournament they started in 1987 has given a strong head start in life to 19 young people who were former athletes at eight different Springfield-area high schools. The successes of these 12 young men and six young women serve as the most sustaining memorial to Michael that the Steele family — and the extended family of John and Dixie Steele — could hope to provide. Below is a brief catching-up with past Steele scholarship winners, many of whom remain in close contact with the family today.
1987, Jeff Ball — Inaugural Steele Scholarship winner is vice president and principal for local government services for Hanson Engineers, Springfield; he is married and a graduate of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in civil engineering. Ball was an athlete at Lanphier High School.
1988, Greg Steil — Owner of ATI-Athletic Therapy Institute, Steil lives in Hinsdale with his wife and three children, the oldest a high-school sophomore, the youngest age 2. The St. Louis University graduate, a former athlete at Griffin High School, recently earned his pilot’s license and owns two aircraft.
1989, Gina Fabro Houston — Now a certified financial planner in St. Louis, Houston has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Illinois at Springfield. The former Ursuline Academy athlete married Steve Houston in 2005.
1990, Michael Neisel — A sports-management graduate of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Neisel lives in Murphysboro, worked eight years in pharmaceutical sales, and is now employed by Novartis. He played prep sports at Springfield High School.
1991, Brian Holmes — An athlete at Southeast High School, Holmes is an agent for Country Insurance and Financial Services. He is the father of daughters, ages 2 and 4.
1992, Jeffrey Lynn — An English teacher at Springfield Ball Charter School, Lynn has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UIS. Married, with two children, he also taught for six years at his alma mater, Ursuline Academy.
1993, Karen Reeser Lingafelter — A graduate of Lincoln Land Community College, Lingafelter works as a preschool teacher in Taylor, Mo. The mother of four children between the ages of 2 and 8, the former Lutheran High School athlete is married to the basketball coach at Hannibal-LaGrange College.
1994, Malcolm Holman (deceased) — After graduating from Arkansas Tech in Russellville, Ark., Malcolm worked for Tyson Foods. He learned that he had leukemia in 2003. The former Calvary Academy athlete died in July 2003 of a viral infection.
1995, Sean Berberet — Holder of a degree in business from Illinois College, Berberet is a candidate for an advanced degree in land surveying from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Sean, the father of one son, played sports at Sacred Heart-Griffin.
1996, Jacob Klug — Klug has a degree in communications from the University of Illinois-Springfield. Married and manager of the parts department at O’Brien Dodge of Springfield, he was an athlete at Lutheran High School.
1997, Erica Hohimer — A graduate of Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn., Hohimer works for Wells Fargo Financial in Springfield. In addition to being active in the Springfield Muni Opera and as a worship counselor, she serves as cheerleading coach at her alma mater, Calvary Academy.
1998, Otis Nelson — A former Lanphier High School athlete, Nelson is pursuing a master’s degree in applied science at American University in Washington, D.C., and working as a researcher at Covance Laboratories in Chantilly, Va. He previously received a B.A. in biology and an M.A. in microbiology from the University of Illinois.
1999 Jessica Bursi — Bursi, a graduate of SIU-Carbondale, is employed at the Film Foundation, the nation’s leading organization in the preservation of film. The former Southeast High School athlete spent three years working for the cable channel VH1, where her credits included Rockstrology, 30 Days Until I’m Famous, and biopic features on Michael Jackson and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
2000 Michael Ziri — A graduate of Illinois College, Ziri is planning to attend graduate school in New York City or Washington, D.C., to pursue a career in international affairs. He played prep sports at Springfield High School.
2001 Megan Cory — A soccer player before graduating in 2005 from Culver-Stockton College in Hannibal, Mo., Cory is working with her brother as a teacher and counselor of troubled teens, living in a tent in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She played sports at Sacred Heart-Griffin.
2002 Jaimie Diaz — Lutheran High School
2003 Corey Kates — Now pursuing a degree in finance at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, Kates received an associate degree from Springfield College in Illinois, where he played on the golf team. He played in high school at Sacred Heart-Griffin.
2004 Ryan Matrisch — A second-year student and member of the golf team at SCI, Matrisch plans to major in business at UIS. An employee of the Rail Golf Club, he is a graduate of Sacred Heart-Griffin High School.
2005 Joe Candioto — A freshman enrolled in a general-studies program at SCI, Candioto is a member of the college’s golf team. He graduated from Chatham Glenwood High School, where he played golf. In addition to his success on the golf course, Candioto has won numerous awards in trapshooting and was a member of the winning team in the scholastic division at the 2004 national trapshooting tournament.

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