July 18, 2020
The Rotary Club of Biddeford-Saco is celebrating its 25th Anniversary of the essay contest for eighth graders in Biddeford, Saco and Old Orchard Beach.
In 1995 the Rotary International President encouraged clubs worldwide to promote activities that support the family unit. Members of the Biddeford-Saco club developed the material for and created an essay contest. The topic; What the Word Family Means To Me.
Students are asked to write an essay approximately 500-words in length. Faculty at the participating schools judge the essays based on the following criteria: 1) the relevance to the topic; 2) quality of composition; 3) creativity; and 4) grammatical and spelling accuracy. The students with the top three essays from each school receive cash awards, certificates and the winner from each receive a medal and are invited to read their essay at a formal luncheon. Since the gathering wasn’t possible this year, the students recorded themselves reading their essays, and the club put together a video presentation of the event.
Brenda Pollock, co-chair of the event said, “I was raised in a solid family structure and I attribute my work ethic, and how I live my life today to my parents. As eighth graders, the students write heartfelt stories about their family. Sharing their essay is significant for them. If we couldn’t be together in person, the club committed to create a video presentation to honor the students, families, and the teachers.”
The first prize essay winners receive $100 plus $100 to donate to a charity of their choice. Second place winners, $75 plus $75 to donate to a charity of their choice and third place winners, $50 plus $50 to donate to a charity of their choice.
The charities the students made their donations to are;
Hospice of Southern Maine, The Lance McCullers Jr. Foundation, Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, Biddeford Food Pantry, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maine and the Biddeford-Saco Rotary COVID-19 Crisis Project.
The 25th Anniversary of the Rotary Essay Contest can be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/9QfkGKBCqoY.
The Rotary clubs offer several youth leadership programs. Rotary believes in developing the next generation of leaders. They offer programs to help younger leaders build leadership skills, through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. expand education and learn the value of service. Visit https://www.rotary.org/en/our-programs/youth-programs to learn more about these opportunities.