2023 National Philanthropy Month - winning essays

Seven Grundy County students made their own grant donations to local charities on Thursday after winning the Community Foundation of Grundy County’s essay contest.

Community Foundation of Grundy County Director Julie Buck said all third through 12th grade students in Grundy County were invited to write an essay, with third through fifth graders asked to write 100 words, sixth through eighth asked for 250 words and high school students asked for 500.

The winners for the third through fifth grade students were fourth grade student Ben W. from Mazon-Verona-Kinsman Middle School, who finished in second place and donated $500 to We Care of Grundy County, and Clare W. of Mazon-Verona Kinsman Elementary School, who donated $1,000 to Just Animals.

Abby B. from Saratoga Elementary finished third in the sixth through eighth grade category, choosing to donate $250 to We Care of Grundy County. Evelyn E., from Minooka Junior High, won second and donated $500 to Just Animals in Mazon. Milo S., from Rivers Edge Academy, won first and donated $1,000 to the Grundy County Veterans Assistance Commission.

The high school category winners were Shan B., from Seneca, who donated $500 to Operation St. Nick and Grace E., who is homeschooled and attends the Grundy Area Vocational Center. Grace donated $1,000 to Living Alternatives.

Each student also received a $50 Grundy County Chamber of Commerce gift card, which works at any Chamber of Commerce member.

Below are the student essays and photos with their chosen charity.