2021 Darrell Wiatt Family Philanthropy Essay Contest

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The Putnam County Community Foundation is proud to congratulate Cyrus Gurnon, the grand prize winner of the 2021 Darrell Wiatt Family Philanthropy Essay Contest.

Gurnon is a student in Melissa Knipp’s class at Greencastle Middle School.

In recognition of Gurnon’s accomplishment, Social Promise, the charity of his choice, received a $150 grant. Additionally, Greencastle Middle School received a $500 grant. His essay highlighted the philanthropic work of Sharon Crary, founder of Social Promise.

The Darrell Wiatt Family Philanthropy Essay Contest was established in 2006 by Darrell Wiatt, a passionate community member and former educator at the North Putnam Community School Corporation. 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.”

Entries were accepted from seventh-grade students throughout the county. Students were instructed to write a 500-word essay about “The Philanthropist I Know Personally and Admire the Most.” The essays were reviewed by four judges at the county level and scored on criteria such as spelling, grammar, organization, content of essay, and understanding of philanthropy.

Five finalists were chosen from the participating middle schools in Putnam County.

Logan Allen, a student at Greencastle Middle School, wrote about his grandfather, David Archer. He chose the Betty and Marjorie Diedorf Scholarship to receive a Finalist Grant Award.

Atticus South, a student at North Putnam Middle School, chose the Putnam County Development Commission to receive a Finalist Grant Award. His grandmother, Barbara South, is the philanthropist about whom he wrote.

Brayden Chew, a student at North Putnam Middle School, chose the North Putnam Dollars for Scholars to receive a Finalist Grant Award. The philanthropist he admires most is Alan Zerkel.

Joslyn Bumgardner, a student at South Putnam Middle School, chose Beyond Homeless to receive a Finalist Grant Award. Her philanthropist is Eric Boyce.

Damon T. Cox, a student at South Putnam Middle School, chose the Humane Society of Putnam County to receive a Finalist Grant Award and wrote about his father, Damon B. Cox.

These grants are made from the Darrell Wiatt Family Philanthropy Essay Contest Endowment, which was established in 20212 by the Wiatt Family to promote philanthropic education and award grants for the essay contest.

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