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Local students win DAR essay contest

By Staff | Mar 27, 2015

Twelve local students received awards in the American history essay contest recently sponsored by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR), Pack Horse Ford Chapter. The Chapter received 269 essays to judge from fifth to eighth grade from Shepherdstown elementary and middle schools, Wildwood Middle School and St. Joseph’s School in Martinsburg. The theme was “A Child’s Journey Through Ellis Island.”

This year marks the 125th anniversary of Ellis Island as an immigration station. On a typical day, immigrants arriving on the island could expect to spend up to seven hours in processing activities intended to determine whether they were legally and medically fit to enter the United States. Students were to imagine themselves as a child traveling through Ellis Island in 1892 and were to describe their experiences to their cousin who has never heard of Ellis Island.

Fifth grade essay winners included first place, Kyle Stern; second place, Lay Chennuru; and third place, Luke Fowler. Sixth grade essay winners included first place, Anna Riordan; second place, Nicholas Moore; and third place, Cameron Jennings. Seventh grade essay winners included first place, Lillian Kelley; second place, Cassidy Joy; and third place, John Riordan. Eighth grade essay winners included first place, Jojo Cifala; second place, Olivia Gavert; and third place, Daisy Levine. First place winners read their essays to the audience.

In addition to being selected by the Chapter, the West Virginia State Society, DAR selected the following essay winners: fifth grader Kyle Stern, first place; sixth grader Anna Riordan, second place; seventh grader Lillian Marie Kelley, third place; and eighth grader JoJo Cifala, second place.

The Pack Horse Ford Chapter, NSDAR is grateful to Lt. Col. (Ret.) Donald E. Morgan and his wife, Carol, for their generous contribution towards the American History Essay Contest awards. First place winners received medals, certificates, and monetary gifts while second and third place winners received certificates and monetary gifts.

After the essays were read and photos were taken, a reception with red, white and blue American flag cupcakes and other snacks were served. Mary Davis was chairperson for the essay committee, with members Betsy Donohoe, Pat Donohoe, Marsha Krashoc, Susi Lynch, Cheryl Rodgers, Kathy Sholl, Patty Stealey, Polly Wharton and Janet Younkin.

The public is invited to join the chapter on its annual chartered bus trip. This year, the chapter is traveling to Winterthur in Delaware on Saturday, May 30. Winterthur is the premier museum of American decorative arts, with an unparalleled collection of nearly 90,000 objects made or used in America between about 1640 and 1860. The cost is $78 per person. Seating on the bus is limited and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, contact Regent Cheryl Brown at 304-876-3817 or send an email to Kathy Sholl at chatty2kathy@hotmail.com. This fundraising event supports the chapter’s community, educational, historic preservation, and patriotic work. The DAR strives to “Celebrate America.” To learn more about the work of today’s DAR, visit www.DAR.org.