Eddie Essay Awards this week

Emily Mansfield reads her essay on the Boyne Area Free Clinic
10th-Grade students from Boyne City and Boyne Falls Boyne wrote an essay with the prompt “If I had $100 to give to my favorite local charity which charity would you give the contribution to and why?”

The Kiwanis Club of Boyne City presents its 13th annual Eddie Essay Contest Awards breakfast this Thursday Nov. 29.

Look for photos and all the winning essays in the Wednesday Dec. 5 edition of the Boyne City Gazette.

About this year’s contest:

10th-Grade students from Boyne City and Boyne Falls Boyne wrote an essay with the prompt “If I had $100 to give to my favorite local charity which charity would you give the contribution to and why?”

10th-Grade winners from each school will present $100 for their chosen charity, and three $150 awards then overall Silver Prize winners who will present $250 to his/her charity and an overall Gold Prize winner who presented $500.00 to his/her selected charity.

Kiwanis invites the winning essayist, their teachers, family and the student’s charity of choice to a wonderful breakfast prepared by the Boyne City Hospitality program students, where the student will publicly read their essay and present the check to the charity.

Kiwanis Club of Boyne City was founded July 8, 1999.

“Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time.”

Kiwanis International was founded in 1915, has over 600,000 members, nearly 15,000 Clubs in more than 90 nations.

“The principle core of Kiwanis mission is the belief that the most effective way to enhance a community is to enhance its children. When you give a child a chance to learn, experience, dream and succeed, great things will happen.”

The primary purpose of our Club is to improve the quality of life for children and families worldwide by adhering to the Objects of Kiwanis International, which are:

  • To give primacy to the human and spiritual, rather than to the material values of life
  • To encourage the daily living of the Golden Rule in all human relationships
  • To promote the adoption and application of higher social, business, and professional standards
  • To develop, by precept and example, a more intelligent, aggressive, and serviceable citizenship
  • To provide, through this club, a practical means to form enduring friendships, to render altruistic service, and to build a better community
  • To cooperate in creating and maintaining that sound public opinion and high idealism which make possible the increase of righteousness, justice, patriotism, and goodwill

The Eddie Essay contest was named in honor of Ed Hughes, the brother of Kiwanis member, Bernadette Beyer.

Ed was a person who generously gave of his time, talents and treasures.

At the time of the first Award Contest, Ed was dying of a rare neurological disorder.

The Eddie Essay Contest is designed to pass on the spirit of an ordinary person doing extra-ordinary things for “one child and one community at a time”.

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

Guidelines for writing the essay are:

  • Written legibly or typed
  • Correct grammar, spelling and sentence structure
  • Minimum of one page and no more than two pages
  • Knowledge about charitable organization
  • Details on how the $100 will benefit people
  • Your reasons for selecting this charity
  • Organization of your essay
  • Any personal experience you have had with the organization

The teachers work with the students to assist in learning about local charities as well as addressing the skills involved in writing an essay.

The essays are then read by a committee of five Kiwanis Club members and winners are selected.

It is a wonderful privilege and yet challenge to select the winning essays because there are so many that fit the criteria and touch our hearts!

In 2006 we selected one 5th Grade winner from each school who received $50 to present to his/her organization and one overall Grand Prize winner who presented $100 to her charity.

The contest has grown to the point that in the spring of 2013 the Fifth Grade winner from each school presented $100 for their chosen charity, an overall Silver Prize winner who presented $250 to his/her charity and an overall Gold Prize winner who presented $500 to his/her selected charity.

An Awards Ceremony is hosted at the Early Child Development Building in Boyne City in the spring for the 5th Grade Contest and in the fall for the 10th grade Contest.

The Culinary Arts Class from Boyne City High School prepares a buffet breakfast.

The Culinary Arts students are engaged as the essays are read so they as well are impacted by the powerful messages contained in the essays.

The winning students, their families, the representatives from the winning organizations, school personnel and Kiwanis members attend.

Each student reads his/her essay and presents the check (given by Kiwanis) to their charitable organization.

The students’ heart-wrenching and thought provoking essays always bring the attendees to laughter or tears over their personal real life experiences!

The student is also presented with a certificate from Kiwanis in appreciation for their inspiring essay.

Mr. Jeff Garber, teacher of Boyne Falls 10th Grade Language Arts Class, looks forward every year to being a part of the Contest.  Mr. Garber has told us repeatedly that this is “the most important project my students are involved in writing each year.”  One of his students went on to submit his essay for a scholarship (with revisions to fit the criteria of that contest) and was awarded the scholarship.

In 2011, the Fifth Grade Silver Prize winner wrote a Thank You Note to our Kiwanis Club stating “Thank you for giving me an opportunity to donate $200 to the Mary Margaret Homeless Shelter.  I am very happy that I got to be a part of the essay contest.  Thank you so much!”

Since 2006 Kiwanis Club of Boyne City has sponsored a total of 24 Eddie Essay Contests (for the Fifth Grade & 10th Grade).

Through co-sponsorship we have donated over $29,000 to 60 local charities that the students have directly impacted by writing for a cause.

12 of the organizations have been selected more than one time.