Boyne City’s Eddie Essay Contest celebrates 10th year

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Kiwanis Club of Boyne City celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Eddie Essay Contest on May 1st. Over 275 guests gathered at the Boyne City Performing Arts Center to join in the Ceremony. The First Annual Eddie Essay Contest was held on May 18, 2006. Fifth-graders from the three area schools—Boyne City, Boyne Falls and Concord Academy Boyne—stated their original ideas in an essay featuring “If I had $50 to give to my favorite local charity which charity would it be and why?”

Since 2006 the impact of the Contest has grown into having the fifth-graders write an essay in the spring of the school year and the tenth-graders write an essay in the fall of the school year. The generosity of sponsors has increased to the point that now the students write about giving $100 to their favorite local charity.

The Eddie Essay Contest exemplifies the Kiwanis Motto of “One can make a difference changing one child and one community at a time.” Since the inception of the Contest over 2,200 students have submitted essays of which 85 students have been selected as winners. The winning students have presented $12,300 to 51 local charities. The students are taught to focus on giving to others through their time, talents and treasures without expecting a prize in return.

This contest is held in honor of Ed Hughes, the brother of local Kiwanis member, Bernadette Beyer. Eddie’s life exemplified the spirit of giving without expecting anything in return. In Honor of the 10th Anniversary, some of Eddie’s family members traveled from other states to join in the Celebration.

All of the fifth-grade students from the three area schools, the winners, their teacher and their families celebrated the Anniversary. They were joined by representatives from the charitable organizations featured in their essays as well as many representatives from the 46 organizations that received donations in past years. Kiwanis members were pleased to honor some of the 78 past winning students who were also able to attend.

The students who received Honorable Mention are: Shayla Green who wrote about the Women’s Resource Center; Sarah Johnson who wrote about Camp Daggett; Autumn McMillen who wrote about Relay for Life and Sydney Veryser who wrote about the Cancer Crusaders. Each of these students presented $100 to their favorite local charity.

The three area school winners each presented $200 to their favorite charity.

Kanden Behling from Boyne City wrote about the Boyne City Fire Department; Arianna Lightfoot from Boyne Falls wrote about Children with Hair Loss and Taralyn Johnson from Concord Academy Boyne wrote about Challenge Mountain.

The overall Grand Silver Prize Award was presented to Raygen Leazier from Boyne City School. Raygen proudly awarded $500 to Alcoholics Anonymous.

The overall Gold Grand Prize was awarded to Liam Chapp from Concord Academy Boyne. Liam was thrilled to present $1000 to the Arthritis Foundation!

Each year the students never cease to inspire us with their desire to help others. They touch our hearts and bring tears to our eyes for the understanding they have of giving without expecting in return. These essay winners are our leaders for tomorrow. Following the Kiwanis motto they have and will “Make a difference one child and one community at a time.”

Kiwanis members are grateful to the three area school staff members and teachers that participated in this year’s contest as well as all our sponsors who help make this event so successful.

Since the inception of the Eddie Essay Contest in 2006, Huntington Bank has generously donated a gift to each of the winning essayist.

For more info, call Bernadette Beyer at 582-0670. Learn more about Kiwanis by attending the 7 a.m. Thursday weekly meeting at Robert’s Restaurant in Boyne or call (231) 330-3669.


Arthritis Foundation

Liam Chapp

“It hurts!” my sister, Kami, screams. My dad is in the front seat of the car, rushing us to the hospital. My mother is holding her,  “Everything is going to be alright”. Well, that’s what she is hoping.  When we got to the hospital, my mother rushes Kami in.

When the doctor came into the room, mom asked fast, but politely, “What’s wrong with my daughter?”  When the doctor calmed my mom down, she did an examination of my sister. The doctor said that Kami was just going through some growing pains. My mom did not think that was the problem, but what did she know? She is not a doctor.

About a year later at my family reunion, my uncle saw my sister, and he could tell she was in a lot of pain.  He told my mom to take her to the doctor again. This time, we had a different doctor seeing us. At the hospital, they diagnosed Kami with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Kami now lives quite a normal life. She has to take shots two times a week though! What hurts me the most is when I stop by her room, and all I see is her lying there. Even though sometimes I can be mean to her, it will hurt me really bad when “THE DAY” comes. The day she won’t move – the day she will never be able to move. But, we can help her! There is a foundation to help her become more active. It is called the Arthritis Foundation.

The Arthritis Foundation helps keep people healthy, active, and moving. There have a camp called Camp Dakota. It is a five-day camp that teaches kids to have fun with their disabilities. The camp also has fun and games for the kids.

I have a friend, Emma, who has arthritis, too. So if I won the $100, I would give it to the Arthritis Foundation. The money could help my sister; it could also help someone else like Emma! All I ask is some way to help my sister and Emma. So that is what I would do with the $100 for this charity, I would want to use the money for people that go to camp.

Now let me tell you about the history of arthritis and some facts. Arthritis is a disease that attacks the tissues around the joints causing a lot of pain with every movement. Did you know that arthritis is a huge health problem in America? 44 MILLION people visit doctors about this every year! By 2030 if this disease is not cured, 67 million people will have Arthritis!

The Arthritis Foundation can help change these people’s active lives by giving them the information to get moving and stay healthy. The Arthritis Foundation can help millions if we donated every year, so please help people like my sister and my friend.

Taralyn Johnson

Challenge Mountain

Challenge Mountain is an organization that provides outdoor activities for disabled people. These people are able to downhill ski with their families. The disabled people can also snowshoe, do arts and crafts, kayak, swim, and participate in many other outdoor activities.

As a volunteer, I work in the kitchen helping prepare food and do other things that need to be done. One thing that I noticed is the volunteers that work outside usually straggle behind and stay outdoors longer to give the kids more time to have fun. These volunteers really care about the kids. I was amazed to see how many volunteers it takes for so few disabled people. Kids, like me, who volunteer receive many benefits from helping others, and they can see how their hard work helps others.

Challenge Mountain provides more than just outdoor activities for disabled people. They also have a “Burn Camp” for burn victims. These people also participate in the same activities as the disabled people.

Challenge Mountain also has “Nightmare.” This is a haunted house that runs for the entire month of October. Everyone who volunteers at “Nightmare” does all the decorating, setup, and design of the haunted house. Some volunteers dress and act in different roles. This past year, I was able to work there every weekend. I had so much fun. I had different acting roles, such as Dorothy in the witches house and Marie Antoinette. The money raised from this goes directly to Challenge Mountain.

If my essay were chosen, I would want Challenge Mountain to use the money to purchase more bi-skis. A bi-ski is two skis bolted together by a chair, where the disabled person sits. A volunteer navigates the disabled person down the hill. The reason why I would want Challenge Mountain to purchase more bi-skis is because I always see disabled kids waiting in line for a bi-ski turn. They could also use the money to purchase skis or any other equipment. I hope Challenge Mountain gets this money, so they can help more disabled kids. At Challenge Mountain, everyone is treated the same, no matter what their disability. Their motto is, ” If I can do this, I can do anything”.

N. Mich. Cancer Crusaders Sydney Veryser

I picked the charity, Northern MI Cancer Crusaders because I have a friend that had cancer. Cancer is a very mean disease. Northern MI Cancer Crusaders helps kids with cancer. My goal is to make a cure for cancer.

I have a friend that had cancer. She was diagnosed with cancer at the age 14. She had a tumor with cancer growing on it. The cancer she had was ovarian cancer. She had to take a long break from gymnastics and she couldn’t finish her 8th grade year of school.

She had to shave all her hair off. She got surgery and the tumor was taken out of her body. She wasn’t just a 14 year old girl, she was inspiring. She kept on fighting for health and she beat the cancer after 9 rounds of chemotherapy. Because of Northern MI Cancer Crusaders hundreds of people don’t have to worry about getting to the appointment or gas. They give people gas cards and places to stay while they are dealing with cancer. 100% of the money you give to the Northern MI Cancer Crusaders goes into the charity for the kids and adults. They have 20 to 30 volunteers that help out. They also do fun activities to earn money for the people, like the bear river crawl, polish festival, doe camp, and 50 & 60’s dance/ auction. Over 309,500 people are diagnosed with cancer each year and over 7.5 million people die from cancer each year. God does everything for a reason but why does he have to diagnosed innocent kids and adults with such mean cancer?

That’s a mystery we will probably never solve. Cancer is a bully.

WRc of Petoskey

Shyla M. Green

For my Eddie Essay, I chose the Women’s Resource Center in Petoskey, Michigan. It was established in 1977. They’re located in several different locations. Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan,

Emmet, and Ostego county. I chose this charity because they do a lot of great things for women. For example, they help single mothers and give a place for women to stay if they can’t afford their own home, etc. I think they deserve the money because, like I said before, they do great things for woman in need. They help with domestic violence, Children Educational Programming, Education and Career, and employment. Women that go there can enjoy getting help with a variety of concerns, meet other women with the same experiences and, learn more about themselves and others.

I chose this charity for several reasons. First, I personally really like this program. Second, they do so many great things for women in need. Third, they also help children. They give Educational Programs to children and women. Finally, I have a personal connection to the charity.

I have a personal connection to this charity because my Aunt and her three daughters turned to this charity when my aunt lost her job. She called them and they let her and my cousins stay there for a couple weeks. They found her a job and a place to live. I think that’s amazing. In conclusion, The Women’s Resource Center is a great nonprofit charity. They help over 13,000 women, mothers, and children each year. You should choose my essay because they really deserve the money to help women of Northern


Alcoholics Anonymous

Raygen Leazier BCMS

It’s been three years since this guy has drank a beer and it was all possible with help from Alcoholics Anonymous. He went there and went there and finally he got to the point where he hasn’t drank one drop of beer in three years when his daughter was 7 and now 10. If I had a hundred dollars to give to a charity I would give it to Alcoholics Anonymous because If you are an alcoholic and can’t stop but want to, Alcoholics Anonymous may be the organization you could turn to for help. It helped a guy I know and he has accomplished a lot and had some rough times with his past life. But after he stopped drinking, it all brightened up for him. He got married, got a house and started his own business by moving it to his home. He has two kids and two step kids. His business keeps growing and growing, and he practically has a brand new life. What I’m saying is that he started fresh after he stopped drinking, and that’s what can happen to you, if you go to AA. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an international public aid fellowship founded on August 11, 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in Akron, Ohio. Alcoholics Anonymous states that its primary purpose is to help Alcoholics all around America “to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety”

Bill Wilson and Bob Smith developed the Twelve Step Program, the Twelve Step Program is a list of guiding principles outlining a course of action for taking down issues including alcoholism and drug addiction. Also, there are little Medallions called sobriety coins, which mark the exact time the person remained sober, you can get these at any AA meeting.

Remember when I was talking about that guy in the beginning of this writing? Well he’s my dad and I’m the little girl. You might be wondering why I did that. Well, it was an example of how AA could treat and help any one. It’s a public aid fellowship, so if you’re an alcoholic or know of someone who could use support, go to AA and you will surely get sober. In conclusion, I would like you to choose my essay because it’s a really good charity and a lot of people in our community could use the opportunity to get help, just like my dad. It would mean a lot to me if you would pick my essay because with one hundred dollars they can open more meeting places for our community.

Boyne City Fire Dept.

Kanden Behling

Have you ever wanted to be a fire fighter? Fire fighters in Boyne City have been helping people for over 50 years. They currently have 22 trained volunteer firefighters that volunteer their time and respond to calls. I would like to donate $100 to the Boyne City Fire Department so they can use it to buy better equipment or to have a better place to store their fire trucks. The building that they currently use to store their fire trucks and equipment is very old and in not very good shape. The concrete blocks are cracked in spots and the flooring is cracked and peeling in many areas. There is also very little room for the trucks that they currently have. They have to be careful opening doors so they don’t hit walls or other trucks when doing so.

The Boyne City Fire Department does fundraisers to raise money to get new equipment. They need equipment for fighting fires such as structure fires or grass fires and equipment to help at car accidents. Their main fundraisers are the Antique Car Show and the Country Western Show.

They also do chicken barbecues for different events as another way to raise money. I have always wanted to give them money so they could have it to help buy items they need to save lives.

The Fire Department responds to around 200 calls each year including car accidents, gas leaks, down power lines, structure fires and grass fires.

The Fire Department has helped many people I know. They saved my grandparents’ house in 1986 and helped to prevent a fire from spreading from a family friend’s house to surrounding structures in 2013. I’m sure everyone can name someone that the Fire Department has helped or have even been helped themselves.

The Fire Department has helped many people and are a really good Fire Department. I hope they stay around for a very long time so that they can continue their very important role in our community. That is why I want to give the Boyne City Fire Department $100. I hope that you can help me to do this by choosing my essay as the winner.

relay for life

Autumn Marie McMillen

Relay for Life is a American Cancer Society. It is an overnight walk where you take turns with your team members walking around a track. It is a 24 hour event so that means that most of the time you camp out there. They serve food, have activities and games. Here is a fun fact did: you know that Relay for Life gives schools the option to hold there own activities or events that teach them about cancer education, specialized fundraising, and leadership opportunities. There are different events for different age groups such as a college relay, high school relay, relay field day, relay recess, community relay, and even a relay for your canine friends called, Bark for Life.

Some of my reasons for picking this charity is because of my Aunt Kathy. In 2014 my Aunt Kathy was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. She started getting sicker and had to go to the hospital. When she was at the hospital she fell. Sadly a while later she passed away. That is when it was like a kick in the butt to start fundraising for the people who are just like her. Also, when I had kidney surgery that is when I knew I needed to help the people in need of help. That is when my

Grandma Lori introduced me to Relay for Life.

In 2014 I participated in Relay for Life. I had so much fun. I helped serve dinner. I made a luminaria in memory of my Aunt Kathy. They also did a walk for the survivors,and a walk for everyone.

One reason I feel that 100$ will help this organization is that the money will go to cancer research and go to the American Cancer Society.

If you would like to get involved with donations you can sign up for Relay for Life at You can also donate at events or participate when a event comes near you. Or you can make a luminaria in honor or memory of someone who fought or is still fighting.

Children With Hair Loss

Arianna Lightfoot

Children With Hair Loss is a non-profit organization that opened in September 2000. Children With Hair Loss’s mission and goals are to never charge a family at a time when they need the most help. Their headquarters are in South Rockwood, Michigan in an old fire station.

There are lots of reasons children lose their hair. Some of these include cancer, burns, and rare diseases and disorders. I haven’t lost my hair or know anyone that has but I learned about Children With Hair Loss from my mom. She has donated her hair a couple of times to them before and I’ve been growing my hair out for a couple of months already so that I can donate too.

One reason I want to give $100 to the children that have no hair is because Children With Hair Loss’s mission is: “to empower these children to become whole again by making hair replacement available to those who may be financially challenged and might otherwise not have a means of obtaining the hair they want and need.”

Another reason is because every dollar of your donation goes to creating a custom hair replacement for a child with hair loss. At Children With Hair Loss, they provide the children with only the highest quality hairpieces that they make. They provide all of their hairpieces at no cost to the families. This is done through donations.

The last reason I would like to give Children With Hair Loss $100 is because if no one donated hair and money to them, the children without hair wouldn’t have hair for their lifetime. I want the children with hair loss to still be able to go out and play with their friends and not get laughed at by other kids their age. I want the kids with hair loss to feel loved and have fun with their friends all the time, I don’t want them to get picked on. I want them to have a lot of fun with their BFF(Best Friend Forever). If I had friends that had lost their hair I would stay with them and buy them a gift or two. I would encourage them to think about the people that love them. I would always stick by their side and I wouldn’t let anyone tease or laugh at them.

In conclusion, besides a $100 donation, I would like you to donate your hair! Thank you. Send your hair to: Children With Hair Loss, 12776 Dixie Hwy, South Rockwood, MI 48179

Camp Daggett

Sarah Johnson

Motto- “The other fellow first”

If I had $100 to give to a local charity, I would choose Camp Daggett. I would choose them because I have been to Camp Daggett and I know how much it means to people. Not only are there 8, one-week camp sessions in the summer, but there is also an indoor-outdoor adventure center, and it is a summer camp, where kids can take a hike in the woods and explore. It gives kids a chance to get off the couch and get outdoors!

At the camp, there is swimming, arts & crafts, sailing, sports, hikes, nature study, archery, and much, much more! There is a health director on duty 24/7, and the food is amazing. I’m speaking from experience. They cook wholesome family style meals with plenty to eat. Each cabin has two counselors, each the same gender of the campers in that cabin.

The indoor-outdoor adventure center is a place to increase people’s confidence and self-esteem, and to try to reach a little outside their comfort zone. In order to do this, participants must follow the “Full Value Agreement” by working as a team, being physically and emotionally safe, and speaking up when you have something to say. I have also been to this and I went outside of my comfort zone and I had a blast!

In 1922, Walter J. MacMillan was hired as a physical education teacher at the Petoskey High School. Part of his job was also to hold a boys summer camp. In 1923, he held a ten-day camp south of present day Camp Daggett on Walloon Lake. In 1924, he held a camp once more, but this time it was held north of present- day Camp Daggett. The land was then deeded to the Daggett family in 1924 and it would be known as Daggett Camp. In 1925, Walter J MacMillan opened a boy’s camp… Camp Daggett. The land that he used was given to him as a gift from the Daggett family.

The camp is now a boys and girls camp with many other things to do. Some kids will never get the chance to explore the woods, for they will never be able to afford it. I want all kids to live their lives to the fullest, and Camp Daggett is the perfect place to do so. People donate money to Camp Daggett to give scholarships to those who can’t afford it. This can sometimes cut down half the price, and sometimes more! This way all kids can go, and I want them all to experience this amazing camp. Whenever I go, I feel right at home because the staff is not only working there but they are also a family.

Not only do they have these things but they also have places reserved for children with special needs. They are mainstreamed into different camp activities, because normally kids with special needs would not be accepted to a camp, but Camp Daggett wants EVERY kid to get the chance to explore. Camp Daggett also provides for out-of-county campers and hosts educational programs to children during the school year. I hope my essay is chosen for I want ALL kids to get to do these things. The host of the camp told us that as long as kids sign up, Camp Daggett will always be here.




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Taralyn Johnson was congratulated by Elizabeth Looze on being a winner of the contest, entitling her to present a check for $200 to Challenge Mountain from the Boyne Area Kiwanis Club


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Kanden Behling read his essay honoring the Boyne City Fire Department. Supporting him were Fire Chief Dennis Amesbury and his father, Firefighter Joe Behling


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Celebrating with the winners on stage were Laurie Gee, Sydney Veryser, Keisha Veryser, Dennis Amesbury, Joe Behling, Kanden Behling, Piccola Hill, and Arianna Lightfoot.


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Arianna Lightfoot read her essay honoring Children with Hair Loss, supported by Laurie Gee and Piccola Hill.



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The Boyne City High School Hospitality Class made various treats for an afterglow reception.
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Liam Chapp, one of the Grand Prize Winners, was congratulated after awarding a $1,000 check to the Arthritis Foundation. Standing by him was his friend who suffers from Juvenile Arthritis.