Seven Hommocks Middle School students were honored by the Rotary Club of Larchmont as winners of the 2021 Essay Contest during its May 6th luncheon meeting at the Larchmont Yacht Club.  The contest, in its 35th year, resumed after a two year respite due to the pandemic.  Club member Marian White has led the effort for the last 20 years, coordinating in September with the Hommocks English Department to determine a relevant topic and at the beginning of the next year with the Rotarian essay judges to determine the winners.  A lunch is then held in May celebrating the most talented of the young writers.  Winners of this award have actually gone on to be professional writers.
From left to right: Jonah Herzberg, Jack Noonan, Lyla Sheedy, Ana Chaice, Natalie Perez and Jonah Hecht 
For this year’s topic, students in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades were asked to write either a true or fictional story or poem about a challenge faced by our community, country or world in the last year.  Over 80 students entered and four Rotary Club members (Lester Nathan, Ruby Zayas, Elaine McCrimmon and Matthew Shore) judged the entries on various criteria such as creativity and expression.
Sixth grade winners were: Lyla Sheedy, Eiley Vasquez and Natalie Alvarez Perez.
Seventh grade winners were: Jonah Herzberg and Jack Noonan.
Eighth grade winners were: Ana Chaice and Jonah Hecht.
Each student present read his/her entry to the audience.  Westchester County Executive George Latimer followed with a congratulatory speech and then presented each student with a Certificate of Commendation.
Club President-Elect Lester Nathan awarded each student with a congratulatory certificate from the Rotary Club and a gift certificate for Anderson’s Bookstore in Larchmont.
Deb Sampayo, an English teacher at the Hommocks Middle School and the school’s organizer of the event, thanked the Rotary Club and the students for their hard work and participation.  Marian White in turn thanked the teachers of the English Department for the effort each one has put in over the years encouraging their students.  She noted that the quality of essays this year were among the best she has seen in terms of creativity and presenting a broad range of points of views on important topics.
The meeting closed with remarks from Club President Marion Anderson.

Click on the button below to watch a slideshow of the day's festivities.