By Beth Christian Broschart
The Parsons Advocate
DAVIS – More than 50 students submitted stories about Tucker Community Foundation’s Penelope the Pig and her philanthropy in hopes of winning the Write-to-Win Contest. Recently, the winners were named during a ceremony at Davis-Thomas Elementary School.
Tucker Community Foundation officials said the goal for the contest was to let children know they do not have to wait to be a philanthropist – they already are. Officials said ‘the stories highlighted different ways individuals share their time, talent and treasure to help their communities, bringing a great deal of creativity and magnanimity to their stories.’
Winners of the Write-to-Win Contest include: Best Overall, Sadie Palmer, 12, of Davis-Thomas Elementary Middle School. Sadie will split her $500 winnings with the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee; Youth winner, Elora Mowery, 12, DTEMS. Elora will split her $300 winnings to provide educational material for students in Africa. The Teen Winner was Jordan Teter, 13, of DTEMS. Jordan will split $300 with St. Jude Medical Children’s Hospital. DTEMS Librarian Elspeth DeLeurere took the Adult prize. DeLeurere will split $250 with a Run For It Team.
Honorable mentions were awarded to Novalee Rohme, 14, of DTEMS for best use of a quote. Novalee wrote, “We can’t help everyone but everyone can help someone.” Sophia Elza, 8, of Harman, won an honorable mention for best illustration.
Diane Hinkle, Development Director for Tucker Community Foundation, said the contest was a big success and said they were pleased with the response.
“We received over 50 entries, the majority of which were from DTEMS,” Hinkle said. “But we also had entries from the Harman area, Preston County and Parsons. So the county and surrounding were well represented.”
Hinkle said there were also a few entries from the Mountain Laurel Learning Academy.
“All of the stories were great,” Hinkle said. “I think we will use all of them in some capacity through the Youth Philanthropy Initiative. Sandy Frank, Assistant Development Director for Tucker Community Foundation, is starting a kid’s club this month.”
Hinkle said the judges for the contest were phenomenal.
“They did a great job – it was a tough job,” Hinkle said. “The stories were well written and the illustrations were colorful. You can tell the kids put a lot of thought into them.”
Hinkle said what stood out to her in the stories were the different takes on philanthropy.
“Some of the writers focused on community service, some were more concerned with the different health needs in the community, some focused on fundraising and others on volunteerism,” Hinkle said. “So the kids get it – they understand philanthropy is more than just fundraising and that is great. That is what we hope to do – to build capacity within the community from the ground up. What better place to start than with our youth?”
Frank said the next phase of the initiative will be a philanthropy club where students in grades 3 to 5 can learn about the grant process by becoming grantors themselves.
“Involving youth in philanthropic efforts is a mutually beneficial process,” Frank said. “Not only do the kids get inspired, but their perspective and enthusiasm in turn inspires us, too.”
Additional information about the club and Tucker Community Foundation is available by calling 304-259-5008.