Observer — February 19, 2009
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Fennville Writers Win Farm Bureau Essay Contest

Three students from Fennville Middle School have been named local winners in the 40th annual America & Me Essay Contest, sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance.

The three students, who earned the first, second, and third place awards for their school are: Hilary Hunsberger, first; Morgan Parmer, second; and Malachi Sosa, third.

All three received award certificates for their achievement. As the school’s first place winner, Hilary’s name will also be engraved on a plaque for permanent display in the school.

Fennville Middle School’s participation in the America & Me Essay Contest was sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance agent Reid Ruggles of Fennville.

Hunsberger’s first place essay now advances to the state level competition, from which the top 10 essays in Michigan will be selected. The top 10 statewide winners, who will be announced in April, will each receive a plaque, a $500 U.S. savings bond and a $500 cash award. In addition, the top 10 essayists will be honored at a banquet in Lansing, meet with Michigan’s top governmental leaders and be the featured guests at a Lansing Lugnuts minor league baseball game dedicated in their honor.

A team of finalist judges that includes a top Michigan government official and the sponsoring teachers of last year’s top two statewide winners will determine the ranking of the top 10 statewide winners this year.

Several thousand eighth grade students from nearly 500 Michigan schools participated in the 2008/2009 America & Me Essay Contest, which was conducted with the help of Farm Bureau Insurance agents across the state. The topic of the 2008/2009 contest was “My Personal Michigan Hero.” Started in 1968 and open to all Michigan eighth grade students, the contest encourages Michigan youngsters to explore their roles in America’s future. As sponsor of the contest, Farm Bureau Insurance has earned 11 national awards from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.
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