The Stee Fund was created after the death of Willard High School wrestler Steeler Seaburn in April 2012 as a scholarship fund to help collegiate wrestlers with secondary education costs. The goal of the fund is to award multiple scholarships each year to college bound wrestlers who display the same qualities that made Steeler Seaburn a competitive wrestler, a team leader, and a role model for younger wrestlers.
In 2012-2013, its first year, the Stee Fund will award $10,000 in scholarship money to multiple recipients. Currently the Steeler Seaburn Memorial Wrestling Scholarships are available only in the Southwest Missouri region, but as the fund grows it is hoped it can expand to statewide, or even nationwide. The Stee Fund is a non-profit organization that is managed completely by volunteers, and all donations are tax deductible. Wrestling is an underfunded sport at many universities, and many college wrestlers are on partial, if any, scholarship and may need more help to meet the financial strain of higher education.
Wrestling has been especially hard hit by federal mandates like Title IX that have cut many wrestling programs altogether and decreased the opportunities for students to earn scholarships in the sport they work so hard at. The Stee Fund is one of a very few scholarships dedicated solely to helping these athletes achieve their goals of an education while continuing their wrestling career in college.
Steeler Seaburn had planned to wrestle in college and following his death, the fund was set up to assist athletes like himself. The Stee Fund serves as a way to both remember and honor Steeler while promoting and assisting the sport of wrestling.