SOAR Scholarship Contest – Official Rules

SOAR Scholarship Contest
Official Rules

WINNERS – Ariana Hill of Davenport North High School, Amy Haskill of Rock Island High School, and Abigail Twiss of Abingdon-Avon High School


Sponsor will conduct the SOAR Scholarship Contest (“Contest”) as described in these Official Rules (“Rules”).  Participation in the Contest constitutes Student’s (defined below) full and unconditional agreement to, and acceptance of, these Rules.   The Contest is intended for participation in the United States only and is void where prohibited and outside the Contest area set forth below.  Do not participate if you are not eligible and located in the United States at the time of entry.

  1.  Eligibility:  Student entrants must be a legal U.S. resident and reside in the Davenport, IA – Moline, IL – Rock Island, IL Designated Market Area as defined by The Nielsen Company (the “Contest Area”). The Contest Area includes the Illinois counties of Jo Daviess, Carroll, Whiteside, Bureau, Henry, Rock Island, Mercer, Knox, Henderson, Warren, and Knox, and the Iowa counties of Jackson, Clinton, Scott, Muscatine, Louisa, Des Moines, and Henry. The entrant must also currently be a student between the ages of 15 and 20 who will graduate at the end of the 2018-2019 school year at a public or private high school located in the Contest Area or who will graduate from a homeschool program within the Contest Area (“Student”).

Employees of WQAD News 8, The Sedona Group (collectively, the “Sponsor”), Tribune Media Company, employees of other television or radio stations, and members of the immediate families of such persons are not eligible to participate.  The term “immediate family” includes spouses, siblings, parents, children, grandparents and grandchildren, and any other person residing at the same household whether or not related.  Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.

  1. Contest Period: The Contest begins on Friday, February 1, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. CT and ends on Monday, April 15, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. CT (the “Contest Period”).  Mailed entries must be postmarked by April 15, 2019 and received no later than 5 p.m. CT on April 18, 2019.
  2.  Contest Entry:  There are two ways to enter—online and by mail. All entries include four essay questions that must be filled out completely (each, an “Essay” and collectively the “Essays”). To enter online, visit the contest section of WQAD.COM and accurately complete the online entry form, including the Essays. The Essays must be in English and will be on the following topics: strength of leadership and specific examples of the Student’s leadership in and out of the classroom; the Student’s academic, athletic and community achievements in and out of the classroom; the Student’s community involvement and volunteerism (specific examples); and an example showing the Student’s strength in a difficult situation.

To enter by mail, print the entry form located in the contest section of and mail the complete entry form to the following address:

SOAR Scholarship Contest
3003 Park 16th Street
Moline, Illinois  61265

Mailed entries must be postmarked by the end of the Contest Period and received by no later than 5 p.m. CT on Thursday, April 18, 2019.

Limit one entry per Student, regardless of method of entry.

  1. Submitted Materials: By submitting the Essays, the Student represents and warrants that the Student has all rights necessary to submit the Essays, and that the Essays are the Student’s own original creation, have not been previously published, do not violate the rights of any other person or company (including but not limited to privacy and copyrights), do not defame, libel, or slander anyone or any entity, do not contain inappropriate, offensive, indecent, vulgar, obscene or profane content, and in no other way violate any applicable laws, as determined by Sponsor. The Essays must not portray any dangerous activity; must not disparage another student, or a teacher, school, school employee, or Sponsor; must not contain material that is inappropriate, indecent, lewd, pornographic, obscene, hateful, tortious, defamatory, slanderous or libelous; must not contain material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; and must not contain material that is unlawful, in violation of, or contrary to the laws or regulations in any jurisdiction where the Essays are created. Essays that do not comply with these Rules or the foregoing representations and warranties will be disqualified, and Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any entry at any time that in Sponsor’s opinion does not comply with these Rules. Each Student agrees to indemnify, defend and hold Sponsor harmless against any and all liabilities, losses, damages, claims, debts, investigations, fines, penalties, costs, expenses and settlements (including attorneys’ fees and costs of litigation, settlement, judgment, interest and penalties) arising out of or related to a breach of the foregoing representations and warranties. By submitting an entry, each Student grants to the Sponsor a world-wide, perpetual, non-revocable, royalty-free license to publish his/her Essay as well as derivative works based thereon through all media, now known or hereafter devised, in any manner related to the Contest, without prior notice, approval or compensation. Students otherwise will retain all rights to their respective Essays.


  1. Selection and Notification of Winners: After the close of the Contest Period, a panel of judges from Sponsor will judge the submitted, eligible Essays and select three winning Essays. The judges will weigh each of the four Essays equally and will select the winners based on the following criteria: creativity (33%), content and ability to provide specific examples (33%), and relevance and strength of detail (34%).

If there is a tie for the third winning position, the judges will re-judge the tied Essays to determine the winner.

Five winners will be selected and the Sponsor will attempt to contact the winning Student’s school to make arrangements to film a surprise visit from the Sponsor during the time period from April 22, 2019 to May 17, 2019 (the “Prize Event”).  News stories announcing the verified winning Students will take place the week of May 20, 2019 and air one per day Monday – Friday during a WQAD newscast.

Winning Students will be disqualified and an alternate winner may be selected by applying the criteria set forth above to all remaining eligible, non-winning entries if: (a) the winning Student’s school cannot be contacted/does not respond within 48 hours of Sponsor’s first notification attempt; (b) winning Student does not fulfill the eligibility requirements; (c) winning Student does not adhere to the Rules; (d) required documents and/or required identification are not provided by winning Student (and/or parent or legal guardian) by deadline established by Sponsor; and/or (e) prize notification is returned as undeliverable, refused or declined. WQAD may film and broadcast the Prize Event in the winning Student’s school. Each school shall be responsible for securing permission from any student, staff, or faculty members recognizably depicted in the Prize Event video package. All students within the classroom may be required to return a waiver form and/or permission slip signed by a parent or guardian prior to the date of the Prize Event. If a Student or school is not willing to cooperate in the Prize Event or the principal of a winning Student’s school is not otherwise willing to allow his or her school to appear on-air, that winning Student will be disqualified and an alternate winner may be determined as set forth above, time permitting. Winning Student must conform to generally accepted broadcast standards (determined in the sole discretion of Sponsor) and dress appropriately for school in order to participate in the Prize Event.

  1.  Prize: There are three prize winners.  Each winning Student will receive a $5,000 scholarship to be used at college, university or trade school of their choice. The scholarship will be awarded in the form of a $5,000 check to each winning Student.

Approximate retail value (“ARV”) = $5,000. Total ARV of all Student prizes = $15,000.

  1.  Prize Acceptance/Restrictions:  Only one winner per household. Winners are subject to verification by WQAD of the winner’s name, age, address, phone number, and Social Security number (where the prize value is equal to or greater than $600.00). Winning Students (and parents or legal guardians of Student winners who are minors) will be required to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility/Release of Liability and Publicity, and may be required to provide a completed W-9, per Section 9 below and each must do so within seven days of the date Sponsor sends such documents to winning Student or at the Prize Event as determined by Sponsor.  Prizes cannot be redeemed for cash or substituted for any other items by any winner.  Prizes are non-assignable and non-transferrable.  Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a comparable prize of like or greater value, including cash, for any prize, for any reason.  Any other costs not specifically included in the prize are the sole responsibility of the winners. All properly claimed prizes will be awarded, provided a sufficient number of eligible entries are received.
  2. Publicity Release: By participating in the Contest, each Student acknowledges that his/her entry in the Contest constitutes that Student’s consent to use, publish, reproduce and for all purposes, including publicity, promotion and advertising, in any media (including without limitation, the Internet, television or offline promotions) in connection with the Contest, each winner’s name, likeness, photograph, voice, opinions, and/or hometown and state, and any portion thereof, each extending throughout the universe and in perpetuity without further compensation, credit or right of review or approval, except where prohibited by law.
  3. Taxes: The value of any prize awarded to a winner may be reported for tax purposes as required by law.  All taxes, including federal, state, and local taxes, are the sole responsibility of the winner.  Winning Students will receive a 1099 form from The Sedona Group at the end of the calendar year and a copy of such form should be filed with the IRS.  Each winner must provide The Sedona Group with valid identification, and a valid taxpayer identification number or Social Security number, before any prize will be awarded.  Sponsor will have the right, but not the obligation, to require any winner to complete and submit an IRS form W-9.  Sponsor reserves the right to withhold prizes until the completed W‑9 form is received.
  4. Conditions: Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Internet portion of this Contest or any portion hereof, or to disqualify any individual implicated in any of the following actions, if for any reason:  (a) infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, actions by Students, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which, in Sponsor’s sole opinion, corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Internet portion of the Contest, (b) the Internet portion of the Contest becomes corrupted or does not allow the proper processing of entries per these Rules, or (c) the Internet portion of the Contest is otherwise not capable of running as planned.  If Sponsor terminates the Internet portion of the Contest, Sponsor will post notice of its action on the Contest website and will choose the winners as set forth above from among all eligible, non-suspect online entries received prior to termination and all eligible mail-in entries received by the deadline set forth above. By entering, Students represent that the Student is eligible and agree to be bound by and comply with the Rules and the decisions of any judges, which are final on all matters pertaining to the Contest.  Any Student who attempts to tamper with this Contest in any way or use fraudulent means to participate in and/or win the Contest will be disqualified.  Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any Student at any time, for any reason, including, without limitation, language, activities or behavior deemed inappropriate. If a dispute arises regarding compliance with these Rules, Sponsor may consider, in its sole discretion, data reasonably available to Sponsor through information technology systems in Sponsor’s control, but Sponsor will not be obligated to consider any data or other information collected from any other source. Sponsor and the advertising and promotion agencies associated with this Contest are not responsible for cancellations, postponements, or delays.  Other than the prizes received by the winners, no Student will be entitled to receive any wages, benefits, fees or other compensation whatsoever as a result of participating in the Contest.  Sponsor will have the sole discretion to administer the Contest and interpret and apply the Rules.  Neither the failure of Sponsor to insist upon or enforce strict performance of any provision of these Rules nor the failure, delay or omission by Sponsor in exercising any right with respect to any term of these Rules, will be construed as a waiver or relinquishment to any extent of Sponsor’s right to assert or rely upon any such provision or right in that or any other instance. If there is any conflict between any term of these Rules and any marketing or entry materials used in connection with the Contest, the terms of these Rules will govern.
  5. Indemnification/Hold Harmless: By participating, Students agree: (a) to release, discharge, and hold harmless Sponsor, Tribune Media Company, and their respective affiliates, parents, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, and all of their officers, directors, employees, representatives, and agents (the “Released Parties”) from all liability, injuries, losses or damages of any kind to persons, including but not limited to invasion of privacy (under appropriation, intrusion, public disclosure of private facts, false light in the public eye or other legal theory), defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, infringement of trademark, copyright, or other intellectual property rights, death or property damage resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the acceptance, delivery, possession, misuse or use of a prize (including any travel or activity related thereto), or from participation in and/or entry into or creation of an entry for the Contest and/or the broadcast or exploitation or use of entry or any other Contest-related activity; and (b) that the Released Parties have neither made nor are in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representation or guaranty, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, relating to any prize.
  6. Limitation of Liability: The Released Parties are not responsible or liable for: (a) any incorrect or inaccurate entry information or other errors in the printing, offering or administration of the Contest or in the announcement of the prize(s), (b) any error, omission, interruption, defect or delay in operation or transmission at any website, or wireless calling service, interrupted or unavailable network, server or other conditions, (d) failure of any entry to be received by Sponsor due to technical problems, telephone service problems, human error, or wireless calling service, (d) communication line, hardware and/or software failures, malfunction of phones (including wireless phones/handsets), phone lines, other communications malfunctions, unavailable network connections, cellular equipment towers, telephone systems or wireless service, (e) mechanical, technical, computer, hardware or software errors, malfunctions, or failures of any kind, including but not limited to failed, incomplete, garbled, or delayed transmission of entries, traffic congestion, viruses, sabotage, satellite failures, electrical outages, on telephone lines, on the Internet, at any website, or application or lost or unavailable network connections or natural disasters or acts of God or man, which may limit an entrant’s ability to participate in the Contest; (f) damage to any computer (software or hardware) resulting from participation in the Contest, or damage to mobile phone or other PDA device, (g) theft or destruction of, tampering with, unauthorized access to, or alteration of entries and/or entry information, (h) entries that are late, lost, stolen, damaged, illegible, and/or unintelligible (or any combination thereof), or (i) any change of email address, mailing address, telephone number and/or any other contact information provided by Student.  Any expenses incurred by the Student during the entry process, including but not limited to postage, are the sole responsibility of each Student and the Sponsor will not issue reimbursement for any expenses.
  7. In Case of Dispute: By entering the Contest, Students agree that: (a) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with the Contest, or prize awarded, will be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; (b) any and all claims, judgments and awards will be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering the Contest but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (c) under no circumstances will any Student be permitted to obtain any award for, and Student hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental or consequential damages and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses. Some states do not allow the limitation or exclusion of liability for incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitations or exclusions may not apply to you in whole or in part. All Students agree, by participation in the Contest, to submit to the personal jurisdiction of the federal and state courts located in Rock Island County, Illinois, which will be the exclusive fora for any dispute regarding any Rule or activity associated with the Contest. Illinois law will govern this Contest, without regard to Illinois’ choice of law rules.
  8. Official Rules: To request a copy of the Rules, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to WQAD News 8, located at 3003 Park 16th Street, Moline, IL 61265 by 6/15/19.  Written copies of these Rules are also available during normal business hours (Monday – Friday, between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) at WQAD’s business offices or online at
  9. Names of Winners: For a list of prize winners, send a separate, self-addressed, stamped envelope to WQAD News 8, located at 3003 Park 16th Street, Moline, IL 61265, or appear in person at that location between normal business hours (Monday – Friday, between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) after 5/20/19. Requests must be received by no later than 60 days after the end of the Contest Period.
  10. Rights Reserved: The content, information, data, designs and code associated with the Contest and Contest website are protected by intellectual property and other laws. Any unauthorized use of copyrighted materials, trademarks, or any other intellectual property of Sponsors.


  1. Sponsor:

WQAD, 3003 Park 16th Street, Moline, IL 61265;

The Sedona Group, 602 35th Avenue, Moline, IL  61265.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.