WASHINGTON—The 1999 Student Contests program sponsored by the March for Life Education and Defense Fund is now under way, according to Nellie Gray, the fund's president. Winners will be honored at the 26th annual March for Life, scheduled for Jan. 22 in the nation's capital.

Junior and senior high school students can submit entries in essay, poem, and poster categories. Each entry must relate to the theme of the 1999 march, “For What Shall It Profit A Man if He Gain the Whole World, and Lose His Own Soul?”

There are two first prizes, one to a junior high and the other to a high school student. These awards include a trip to Washington for the March for Life, a certificate given at the annual Rose Dinner, and $500 donated to a local pro-life organization designated by the winner. Ten other awards will be made.

“This is part of the educational effort of the March for Life,” Gray told the Register. “There are two facets. One is to get students to look at this issue, and the other is to get the student and a parent to come to Washington and see the pro-life movement in action.”

The contest, which ends Nov. 2, will be judged by professionals who are familiar with the 1999 theme and the “no exceptions” pro-life position. Winners will be announced by the end of November.

The fund issues an annual report shortly after each year's march. The thick book includes coverage of the march, the one-day convention which precedes it, and the Rose Dinner which follows it. The publication will also include the 12 winning works.

The March for Life began Jan. 22, 1974, the first anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion in this country. Each Jan. 22 since then, thousands of marchers have assembled in the nation's capital to draw attention to the evil of abortion.

Information on the contest, including detailed rules, can be obtained from the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, P.O. Box 90300, Washington, D.C. 20090; telephone: (202) LIFE-377; fax: (202) 543-8202. (Joseph Esposito)