by Cori Hilsgen
If you were asked how you live united, what would your answer be? Two Sartell fifth-grade students recently took time to write their thoughts on paper to enter the United Way “Live United” Essay Contest.
Annabelle Trombley, from Sartell Middle School, and Addie Smith, from St. Francis Xavier School, were recently chosen as runners-up in the contest.
Sartell Middle School faculty commented on Trombley qualifying as a runners-up in the contest.
“Annabelle’s spirit of giving and ‘Living United’ is truly inspiring to our Sartell Middle School students, staff and community,” said Kurt Stumpf, principal.
“Annabelle is very deserving of this award, said Mary Gruenes, teacher. “She has done some remarkable things that have benefitted our community, and she truly is a shining example of what it means to Live United. I expect she will continue to lead by example and share her gifts and talents with our community. I am very proud of her.”
This is the winning essay Trombley submitted for the contest.
“My first memory of Living United was donating my hair to kids who have cancer. It felt good donating to make someone happy. I enjoy volunteering. Stocking food shelves and ringing bells are always rewarding. I’ve asked for donations instead of birthday presents for Salvation Army and Pockets of Hope. “Summer of Service” was fun because I helped kids with arts, crafts, learning and sports. I’ve gotten to experience things that will help me in life. I’ve helped people and hopefully they’ve been happier and helped others to Live United. When we help each other, we help everyone.”
Smith wrote her essay from her personal experience with her cousin.
“Our family has gone through a lot this past year and I wanted to do something for others,” Smith said. “My little cousin Christian was diagnosed with leukemia this year and the project I was working on, Warrior Wagons (give to children fighting cancer), support(s) my cousin. I was inspired by him.”
This is the winning essay that Smith submitted for the contest.
“I Live United by donating to charity and by praying for people who are very sick or have cancer. I also Live United by making bookmarks for donations. Instead of me getting the money, I donated the money to a little business called Warrior Wagons in Austin, Minn. In July, my little cousin was diagnosed with leukemia and he received a warrior wagon. Warrior Wagons gives wagons to pediatric cancer patients for appointments in the hospital.”
Jill Lenzmeier from the United Way said their essays were chosen from 622 essays submitted from around central Minnesota. There was one grand-prize winner and 14 runners-up selected. Runners-up winners received a $75 VISA gift card and the grand-prize winner received a $200 VISA gift card.
Essay contest requirements included incorporating the “Live United” theme in the essay, using no more than 100 words, being a fifth-grader and living within the United Way of Central Minnesota service area.