2017-11-22 / Front Page

Clayton Peterson wins philanthropy essay contest


Clayton Peterson of Cloverdale Middle School beat out all other applicants from all four Putnam County school corporations. Clayton is shown above receiving the grand prize of a $500 grant for Cloverdale Middle School. Left to right, Dean Gambill, Dawn Tucker, Katie Mosley, Clayton Peterson, Greg Linton. (Courtesy Photo) Clayton Peterson of Cloverdale Middle School beat out all other applicants from all four Putnam County school corporations. Clayton is shown above receiving the grand prize of a $500 grant for Cloverdale Middle School. Left to right, Dean Gambill, Dawn Tucker, Katie Mosley, Clayton Peterson, Greg Linton. (Courtesy Photo) Clayton Peterson, a seventh grade student in Katie Mosley’s class at Cloverdale Middle School, is the grand prize winner of the Putnam County Community Foundation’s 2017 Darrell Wiatt Family Philanthropy Essay contest. Clayton’s prizewinning essay described William F. Peterson, his grandfather, as being the philanthropist he admires most.

“I love William as a grandfather and as a philanthropist,” Clayton wrote.

In his essay, Clayton explained that his grandfather has demonstrated a concern for others in several different ways. He donates money to local and non-local organizations and donates his time to good causes. He is also a semi-retired Lutheran pastor.

In recognition of Clayton’s accomplishment, Millgrove United Methodist Church Food Pantry, the charity of his choice, received a $150 donation, and his school received a $500 grant.

Entries were accepted from seventh grade students in all four Putnam County school corporations. Students were instructed to write a 500 word essay about “The Philanthropist I Know Personally and Admire The Most.” Each school district selected the two best essays and submitted them to The Putnam County Community Foundation.

Alan Zerkel served as chair of the essay contest and essay contest judges from all four school districts evaluated essays with no knowledge of the identity of the schools, the philanthropists, or the students.

Beyond the grants associated with the grand prize winner, the remaining seven finalists each recommend a $50 grant to the Putnam County charity of their choice.

Abigail Nees, another student from Ms. Mosley’s class at Cloverdale Middle School, was a finalist for her essay recognizing Steve Caulking, a youth league coach and volunteer fire fighter.

“I just admire Steve so much because he can do all these things sacrificing his time and sometimes risking his life all just to help people,” Abigail wrote. Abigail chose Soul Harvest Church to receive her $50 finalist grant.

Brodie Carr, a student in Jenny Laser’s class at South Putnam Middle School, wrote an essay about Allen and Peg Royer, from the Putnam County 4-H Archery Club.

“They teach more than archery; they teach life skills,” he wrote. Brodie chose to designate his $50 finalist grant to the Putnam County 4-H Archery Club.

Porchea Evans, another student in Ms. Laser’s class, was a finalist for her essay highlighting the contributions of Cindy Baxter, her grandmother.

“My grandma makes being a philanthropist and a good person look easy and I hope someday to follow in her footsteps,” Porchea wrote. Porchea chose the Putnam County Emergency Food Pantry, where she and her grandmother donate food, to receive a finalist grant of $50.

Levi O’Neal, a student in Susan Trent’s class at North Putnam Middle School, wrote an essay recognizing Justin Sherwin, a boy scout with Troop 199.

“Justin made me realize that humanity has some humanity. I believe we need more people like Justin in this world,” Levi wrote. Levi chose Putnam County Humane Society to receive a $50 finalist grant.

Elleanor Jones, also student in Ms. Trent’s class, was a finalist for her essay describing her admiration for Mike Hartley, a volunteer and board member of Family Promise of Hendricks County.

“You think of a person’s legacy, the impact they make in their community, nothing has a greater impact in your life than having a place to call home,” said Elleanor. Elleanor dedicated her finalist grant of $50 to Beyond Homeless Incorporated.

Julia Lofaro, a student in Andrea Stout’s class at Greencastle Middle School, described her admiration for Mark Sheppard.

“The community projects Mark has been a part of have made an immense difference on the world around him and have made hope a reality to the people he has met,” she said. Julia chose to give her finalist grant of $50 to the Putnam County Humane Society.

Maria Serapio, also a student in Ms. Stout’s class wrote her essay about Veronica Brian.

“She has been a family friend and I always admire what she had done for us and many other people… sometimes she would assume the role of my grandma when my real one was millions of miles away,” Maria wrote. Maria chose to designate her $50 finalist grant to Putnam County Humane Society.

The Darrell Wiatt Family Philanthropy Essay Contest is a program provided by the Putnam County Community Foundation. Through the program, the Community Foundation hopes to recognize a few of the everyday philanthropists in Putnam County and to ensure that no child will graduate from high school without knowing the meaning of the word “philanthropy.” For additional information visit www.pcfoundation.org or contact Elaine Peck at 765- 653-4978.

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