Jim: A man for his community
James J. Slama was an active member of the St. Dominic Savio/St. John Paul II parish since joining the community in 2009. He served on the Board of Education, the Chamber of Commerce, the Picnic Committee, the parish Visioning Team, he ran the Troop 725 Tailgate Sale, and emceed and wrote the questions for the annual Trivia Night. He helped in the kitchen at various events such as the auction, the pancake breakfasts, and fish fries, and he enjoyed attending the monthly Men’s Club meetings.
Jim was a believer in the importance of Catholic education, and he was committed to providing that for his children. His four sons all graduated from the parish school: Joe and William from SDS in 2011 and 2013, David and Jonathan from Holy Cross Academy in 2017 and 2018, and all went on to attend Catholic high school. Recognizing that funding Catholic high school education was a challenge, even for his own family, Jim wanted to be able to help others choose this option for their families, too. He said that if he ever won the lottery, he would just want to get a bigger house in Affton, help his boys with their college expenses, and provide tuition assistance to other families.
After Jim’s untimely death in 2018, that dream led to the formation of the James J. Slama Scholarship Foundation in his honor. The Foundation offers three separate scholarships for 8th grade students who plan to attend a Catholic high school in the fall. The awards will be paid to the student’s future high school. Two of the scholarships are primarily need-based and there is an application process for being selected. This application is available in late February each year and the winners are announced in May. The third scholarship is sponsored by the Men’s Club and goes to a Boy Scout from Troop 725, chosen by lottery.