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National Pawn Essay Contest Winners Announced
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$3500 in prizes given to each winning elementary school student...
Neo Best, a kindergarten student at Pathways Elementary School in Hillsborough, and Horacio A. Rios, a fifth grader at Central Elementary School, also in Hillsborough, submitted the winning entries in an essay contest sponsored by National Pawn. With the two students tied for first place, Bob Moulton, owner of National Pawn, declared that he would award two first place prizes. The topic of the essay was, "My Mother." Prizes included a pair of diamond earrings valued at $2,000 for Neo and Horacio's mothers, a $100 gift certificate for each winner, a $500 check for classroom supplies to Neo's teacher, Mrs. Jennifer Behringer, and Horacio's teacher, Mr. Brian Krauss, and a $1,000 check for school supplies to each winner's school. Neo, Horacio and their families were presented the prizes at a ceremony in the National Pawn store at 2334 Guess Rd., Durham.
"I believe in actively encouraging education and supporting schools as a rule, and I feel that it is especially important during these times of declining tax revenues and shrinking budgets," said Moulton. "It was my intent to motivate the students to creatively express their feelings for their mothers or other strong female role models, as well as reward the teachers and the individual schools where the winners attend."
Mrs. Jennifer Behringer, Neo's teacher said, "He is thoughtful and kind to all of his peers. We are very excited for Neo and his mother." Neo has a brother and a sister at Duke University, and he loves to play Star Wars and baseball.
Brian Krauss, Horacio's teacher, said, "I have never had a student that has been as dedicated to his academics as Horacio...he plays an even bigger role in his family...his mother was diagnosed with cancer...and continues to receive treatment. Horacio has majorly stepped up to the plate, assisting with the care of his mother and two younger brothers. He did all this while maintaining a perfect "A" average in school...I can honestly envision Horacio becoming a future president of our country...He is that kind of kid!!!"
The contest was open to all K-5 students in the three major Triangle school districts: Durham, Orange and Wake. The judges for the contest were Frances Scott, news anchor at ABC11; Rick Armstrong, Health and Science Producer at WRAL News; Barbara Petty, editor of BOOM! and Greg Petty, publisher of BOOM!, along with local writers Alice Osborn, Jan B. Parker and Kathleen Fitzgerald.