Photo (L-R):   Winners Andrew Morris & Claire Purvis, Optimist Sally Wilson  (Luke McCue not avail for photo)

The Optimist Essay Contest, under the leadership of Sally Wilson, again produced outstanding essays from students in Coronado. The essay topic was: “How My Positive Outlook Benefits My Community”. Winners this year were: 1st Place: Claire Purvis; 2nd Place: Luke McCue; 3rdPlace: Andrew Morris.

Claire wrote about how her life-long health problems have inspired her to work toward easing the burdens of other children with similar difficulties. She and a friend, who also suffers in her young age, have several projects to give hope to children at the hospital where they have been treated. Claire wrote that she has missed out on many things, but she has not been let down. Her love enhances the lives of other whose problems Claire well understands.

Luke McCue wrote about how being part of a military family and having the opportunity to visit 16 countries has made him realize he is a citizen of the world.  It has taught him he can help make a difference by bringing people together to accomplish things for the greater good.  Last summer he had the opportunity to be a member of a team that built an elementary school from the ground up in Ghana.  Through this experience as well as others he has had in other countries, and with his role as an elected member of his student body association, he brings people together, gets them enthusiastic about working together and accomplishes tasks none of them could have completed alone.

Andrew wrote about using his talent on the piano to ease the loneliness of older folks in an assisted living home, many who suffer with dementia and severe health problems. Andrew brightens their days with his songs. He wrote that, as his music floats down and around the corners of the halls of the home, people have their nurses wheel them to the sound of music in the room where he plays. Older people sing or hum songs they remember. He enjoys making their day a little brighter.

The three winners represented not only themselves but also all the students who entered the contest, teachers and families who provide support and encouragement.  The Optimist Club thanks you all!