2nd Annual Grant Sweet Memorial Essay Contest 2012
This contest is held both in memory of Grant as well as to honor and respect our veterans. This year we received six essays despite it being opened to the entire county. There were four judges who rate on the meaningful-ness of the essays, not grammar, spelling, or typical writing elements (although it is helpful to understand the words chosen). The essays are read "blind"--that is, the readers do not know who wrote the essay, or their age, high school, or connection to the veteran, unless spelled out in the essay. Our judges included three of our Post's veterans, plus a friend of an active duty soldier in Afghanistan now.
About 25 people attended last night, including Grant's wife Nancy Purtzenski and her sister and brother. We pressed Larry Purtzenski, Nancy's brother, into service as the presenter of the essay medals from the American Legion when our own Post's representative was unable to attend.
Grant's mom was there despite many rounds of chemo in the last six months, along with sister Jody, brother Dean, and other good friends and family.
Jacob Ganzak, a junior at Hartland High School, won first place with an essay about Paul Scheidler, one of HHS' teachers. Jacob won $300 and a gold medal.
Grace Nicholas, a senior at Pinckney High School, won second place with an essay about Jack Stewart with whom she works at Pinckney Community Library. Grace won $200 and a silver medal.
Gabrielle Montesanti, a senior at Howell High School, won third place with an essay about Duane Zemper with whom she works at Howell Carnegie District Library. Gabrielle won $100 and a bronze medal.
This contest could not happen without the gifts of several groups--the Friends of the Cromaine Library, the National Veterans Awareness Organization, the American Legion Post #415 of Hartland, a very generous gift from Anonymous, and individual gifts as well. We are deeply grateful for the impact these groups have had on the young people who took this opportunity to interview a veteran and learn what it means to serve our country.