Memorial Grants & Scholarships

The SC&R Foundation has the honor of offering several Memorial Scholarships and Grants. These industry members have made a significant impact on the industry and contributed to innovation, safety, recruiting, advancement of SC&RA initiatives, morale boosting and training.  Each year, a scholarship or grant is assigned to a winner at the Annual Conference to memorialize these amazing individuals.  To read more about the Memorial awards click below.

If you would like more information about establishing a memorial award, contact the Foundation at (703) 698-0291 or


George Bragg Memorial Scholarship

George M. Bragg, long-time President of Bragg Crane Service, Long Beach, Calif., was the posthumous recipient of the Golden Achievement Award during the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) Annual Conference, April 21-25, at La Quinta Resort, La Quinta, Calif. He passed away on March 28, 2009.

“George Bragg has made countless industry contributions throughout the country and abroad. His contributions to SC&RA are extensive,” said Randy Goddard, SC&RA Chairman. “The winner has been known as a tough negotiator, a stickler to details, and a very successful individual in his business and, more importantly, with his family, friends and colleagues…No matter what he did or where he went in business or life, he earned and commanded respect and treated all those who know him with the same degree of courtesy and respect.”

George Bragg was active in the crane & rigging and specialized transportation industry for over 40 years. He rose through the ranks at the Association from Chair of the Crane & Rigging Group to become SC&RA Chairman for 1990-91. In recent years, he had been active on the Association’s Board of Directors, the Insurance Committee and the EN13000 Task Force. Mr. Bragg was also a very active leader with the Southern California Crane Owner’s Association and a very active contributor to his home community in Santa Ana.

Robert L. Cookinham Memorial Grant

The Robert L. Cookinham Memorial Craftsman Grant has been established by George Young Mechanical, Swedesboro, N.J., and Rob’s family, friends, coworkers and numerous clients of the company. Rob believed that training was essential for any professional craftsman and lived up to the motto “Good Enough Is Never Good Enough.”  He was an intelligent, inventive, fun-loving man who loved his family. Rob began as an apprentice for George Young in the 1990s and continually advanced himself through experience and additional training, culminating in his graduation from the Associated General Contractors prestigious Supervisory Training course. Rob’s good nature and contagious laugh made challenging projects seem just a little easier. As a Millwright General Foreman, he was a stickler for perfection and innovation and was respected and admired by his coworkers. Whether inventing new ways to handle Hygienic equipment at a MedImmune facility, being part of the Liberty Bell relocation team, mentoring young Millwright apprentices in safe work practices or building custom motorcycles, Rob lived life to the fullest. The Grant recipient should be passionate about training, possess a desire for advancement and hopefully show the same interest that Rob showed in mentoring future industry craftsmen.

Austin Esary Memorial Grant

In 2017 the Austin Esary Foundation began a memorial in memory of son and brother Austin. Austin Esary took his own life less than one week prior to his 17 th birthday. He struggled in school and felt his future was bleak even though he excelled at mechanics and welding. Had Austin had the opportunity to attend a Lift & Move event ( or event talk to anyone in the heavy haul or crane & rigging industry, he might still be here today. Mr. and Mrs. Esary formed a Foundation in his memory with the purpose of giving hope to other students who need encouragement and opportunity in non-traditional career paths. The Esary Memorial Grant will be awarded to an individual who has attended a Lift & Move event.  For more information on the events click here.

Christopher Lorenz Memorial Scholarship

Christopher Lorenz: Since 1998, the scholarship has paid tribute to the Vice President of Lift Systems, Moline, Ill., who died in 1995. His father, Gary Lorenz, was a founding partner of Riggers Manufacturing Company, Dixon, Ill., in 1980. Gary sold his interest in that company in 1983 to found Lift Systems, Moline, Ill. He was recognized with an SC&RA Golden Achievement Award in 1997. Gary and his wife, Mary Ellen, had been very active in SC&RA throughout their career, and became involved in the SC&R Foundation during its early development.

“After Chris died, we knew we wanted to do something to memorialize him. We thought about setting up our own scholarship, but it’s not easy to go it alone because you have to work out the details with a lawyer and an accountant,” recalled Gary Lorenz. “By operating through the Foundation, we have gained the help of a lot of people who get things done—even to the quiet, important work of selecting the recipient.”

In addition to the funding contributed by the Lorenzes and Lift Systems, the scholarship benefited from the financial support of fellow SC&RA members. “We were very grateful that many of our friends and Chris’s friends at SC&RA got involved,” he said. “We wanted to make this large enough that it would make a difference for a long line of deserving students.”

The Lorenzes also contributed to other memorial scholarships established after the one honoring their son. Although the Christopher Lorenz Memorial Scholarship was the only one of the Foundation’s six scholarships and four grants to honor an individual this year, the SC&R Foundation recently approved a corporate named scholarship and grant program.