At 6 years old, Zach Caudill was the youngest winner of the bi-annual essay contest.
"Not bad for a first grader," said Zach, while sitting on the lap of his mother Michelle. His essay, about 50 words long, was titled, "Moms are the Best."
"It's nice for them to be able to put it into words," Michelle said. "It was very emotional."
Out of more than 300 contestants, eight children and teenagers won the honor of reading their essays to their mothers during a reception at the Saturday morning. They were also awarded gift certificates from area businesses and restaurants.
The oldest contest winner was Alex Synan, a senior at . To the audience's amusement, he sat on the lap of his mother Amy while reading part of his essay.
Winners also included:
- Sean Bransby, a second grade student at Open Bible Christian Academy
- Breanna Yurek, a third grade student at
- Tia Tran, a third grade student at
- Alexandra Minor, a third grade student at
- Nada Jokhadar, a fourth grade student at
- Likhitha Butchireddygari, an eighth grade student at
Caroline Seamon, president of the Friends of the Perry Hall Library volunteer organization, said the essay writing contest, now in its ninth year, has become a well-loved community tradition.
"It's always touching to see the response of the moms," Seamon said. "You see it in the expression on their faces."
During odd numbered years, the organization hosts Mother's Day essay contests, while on even numbered years, the organization hosts Father's Day essay contests, she added.
"Part of the contests' success is because the business community supports us," Seamon said.
A handful of businesses, including , and have donated gift certificate awards for the essay contest for several years, she said. This year, , , , , and also donated awards to the contest.
"This tradition is all about promoting the library," Seamon said.