Fifth-grader Boyne Kiwanis Eddie Essay winners, honorable mentions

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The Twelfth Annual 5th Grade Eddie Essay Awards Ceremony was hosted by the Boyne City Kiwanis Club on May 4.
Photo by Chris Faulknor

The Twelfth Annual 5th Grade Eddie Essay Awards Ceremony was hosted by the Boyne City Kiwanis Club on May 4.

Through sponsorship the Boyne City Kiwanis Club has given away $19,600 to local charities since the first Contest was held on May 18, 2006.

—See all essays & many photos in May 10 Boyne City Gazette—

This contest is held in honor of Ed Hughes, the brother of a local Kiwanis member, Bernadette Beyer. Ed’s life exemplified the spirit of giving without expecting anything in return.

The Eddie Essay Contest is designed to pass on the spirit of an ordinary person doing extra-ordinary things following the Kiwanis motto of “improving the world by making lasting differences in the lives of children.”

Students from Boyne Falls, Concord Academy Boyne and Boyne City Schools 5th Grade Classes were given the writing prompt: “If you had $100 to give to your favorite local charity that helps people which one would it be and why?”

The mission of the Eddie Essay Project is for students to learn more about local charitable organizations and to become involved in giving back to the Boyne Area Community.

A committee of Kiwanis members evaluated the 1 -2 page essays on the basis of content, spelling, grammar and sentence structure as well as the student’s personal experience and knowledge of the organization.

The winners, their teacher and their families were invited to the Boyne City Education Center for a delicious breakfast served by the Boyne City Hospitality Program.

They were joined by representatives from the charitable organizations featured in their essays.

The Honorable Mention Students (all from Boyne City Middle School) are Brianna Ager – Nehemiah House; Gabby Dunlap – Traverse City M.S. Society; Haleigh Stout – District 13 West MI Alcoholics Anonymous and Kaira VanZee – Northern MI Equine Therapy.

Each of these students presented their organization with a check for $100.

The school winner from Boyne City, Adeline Brehm, wrote about Exceptional Riders.

She talked about her experience with the horses: “it helped me because I have a condition in my back…it allows me to stand up straighter.”

Devon Greathouse from Boyne Falls wrote about Joppa House. He passionately stated “No child and mother should be homeless in our great nation.”

Keaton Matelski from Concord Academy Boyne wrote about the Kristen Cleary Memorial Scholarship founded in honor of his aunt, Kristen.

Keaton shared about the scholarships that are given out each year to graduating seniors in Charlevoix and Emmet counties in order to “honor

Kristen’s love and talents in the areas of art and music.”

Each of these school winners presented $150 to their charity.

Brianna Wilson, the Silver Grand Prize winner, is from Boyne Falls School.

Brianna described to us what it was like to wake up to a fire in her family home.

She expressed her gratitude stating, “Thank you to the Red Cross for all the love and support you give to a HUGE amount of people and for helping me, a six year old in a time of need. I will never forget the time you helped my family and me after the fire.”

Brianna was able to present $250 to the Red Cross.

The Gold Grand Prize was awarded to Amelia Biehl from Concord Academy Boyne. Amelia, in writing about the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan, helped us understand more about Epilepsy so that the disease is not so scary and confusing. Camp Discovery is a weeklong camp for children who have epilepsy.

The children can “do cool things that they would not normally get to do…go horseback riding, rock climbing and canoeing.”

Amelia proudly presented $500 to The Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan to be used for scholarship for kids from Northern MI who have epilepsy and cannot afford to go to Camp Discovery.

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 anything in return.

These essay winners are our leaders for tomorrow. Following the Kiwanis motto they have and will help empower our community “to improve the world by making lasting differences in the lives of children”!

Kiwanis members are grateful to the three schools that participated in this year’s contest, as well as all our sponsors who help make this event so successful!

Expressing her pride in the students caring for others, Jill Janisch presented each of the nine winning students with a gift from Huntington Bank.

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

Anyone looking for more information on the Kiwanis Eddie Essay Contest can contact Bernadette Beyer at 582-0670.

Those wanting to learn more about the Kiwanis Club of Boyne City can join members for their weekly Thursday 7 a.m. meeting at Robert’s Restaurant or contact Kiwanis President, Ruth Skop, at 582-3416.